The Cathedral (Duomo) of Arezzo is an imposing Gothic-style church. It stands on top of a hill and overlooks the whole city. The main attractions are the “Mary Magdalene” fresco by Piero della Francesca and the baptismal font decorated by Donatello.
San Donato Cathedral Arezzo
Address, opening times and admission
The address of the cathedral is Piazza Duomo – 51200 Arezzo. Tel. +39 057523991. Opening hours: 07.00 to 12.30 and 15.00 to 18.30. Entrance fee: Free.
The Cathedral of Arezzo is dedicated to the saints San Donato and San Pietro Maggiore. Bishop Guglielmo degli Ubertini was the commissioner of the construction, which began towards the end of the 13th century. The work had to be interrupted often, and thus the church was only completed at the beginning of the 16th century.
The steps leading up to the church also date back to the 16th century.
The hexagonal bell tower, which stands next to the apse, was built in 1859.
The façade was only completed at the beginning of the 20th century in a neo-Gothic style. Before that, this facade had remained unfinished for about 5 centuries.
The interior of the church is characterised by three naves, which are separated by high columns. There is no transept. The pointed arches between the columns make the interior seem higher than it is.
What to see
The facade of the Cathedral has three entrances. On the right side, there is another entrance gate, dating back to the 14th century. The two columns flanking it come from an existing building, probably dating back to Roman times.
The lunette contains a 14th century terracotta sculpture group representing the “Madonna and Child between San Donato and Gregory X”.
The coloured windows were mostly made in the 16th century by Guglielmo de Marcillat. This artist was also responsible for the staircase leading to the entrance and for some frescoes painted on the vault of the central nave, depicting “Biblical Tales”.
The five cross vaults were frescoed by Castellucci.
There is a baptismal font decorated with sculptures by Donatello.
The neo-Gothic Madonna del Conforto Chapel, built in the 18th century, is decorated with terracotta statues by Andrea della Robbia.
The 14th century tomb of Gregory X is in the right nave.
The Cappella Tarlati dates from 1334.
De fresco Santa Maria Maddalena is tussen 1460 en 1466 door Piero della Francesca geschilderd.
Above the main altar, you can see the beautifully decorated Sarcophagus of San Donato, the result of a collaboration between several local artists from the 14th century.
The funerary monument of Guido Tarlati (1330) is in the left nave.
The wooden choir dates from 1554 and was designed by Vasari.
What to see near the Cathedral of Arezzo
The Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and the Capitol Archives is located directly by the Duomo.
The statue in front of the Cathedral depicts Ferdinando I de’ Medici.