is a well-preserved mediaeval town located in the
Val di Chiana
in the extreme south-east of Tuscany, Italy, in the
province of Sienna. It surrounds a hill where the rocca (fortress), containing a square tower (ca 900 AD) and an inner fortress
wall, is located. This rocca became known as the Scitonia castle. In the 1300s,
possession of Cetona frequently changed hands between Siena and
Orvieto, and after a brief
period under Perugia, it was annexed by Siena. An outer wall was built, containing two round towers (1458
AD) and Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici sold Cetona in 1556 to the Marquis Chiappino Vitelli, who
converted the fortress into a private residence and built the piazza, today named Piazza Garibaldi. His descendants also erected Palazzo Vitelli in the late 1600s.
The castle of Cetona is still privately owned.
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Cetona and Castello Scitonia
Cetona is rated one of the most beautiful villages in Italy
"Uno dei borghi più belli d'Italia"
as are Scarperia in the Mugello, Loro Ciuffenna, Poppi, Pitigliano, San Casciano dei Bagni, Panicale, Montefioralle and Anghiari.
Viewed from a distance and from any direction, Cetona looks like a cone with houses climbing up its sides and with a large group of cypresses and pines hiding the castle at the apex. The Collegiate church, which dates from the 13 C and houses noteworthy paintings, including one attributed to Pinturicchio (1454-1513), is located just below the castle. Piazza Garibaldi is quite large for a town of 3,000 inhabitants and is the location of churches (S. Michele Arcangelo and SS. Annunziata) and residences (Palazzo Vitelli, l6 C) and, at the far end, the Rivellino tower which was part of the outer walls. The "historical centre" is uphill from the piazza, and includes the Palazzo di Giustizia, now the local police station, and further up, the Palazzo Minutelli, currently the town hall. Further on, the beautiful Collegiate church has its own little piazza. The path under the Arco del Brugi leads to the Costa dell'Arciprete, a curving, initially level path, that drops steeply steeply at Capperoni and continues towards Piazza Luca Contile (Piazza Paré) and to S. Michele church.
Piazza Garibaldi in Cetona
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