Arezzo’s origins are lost in the very ancient past. As the settlement grew, it eventually became an important Etruscan city, and was later part of Rome. Already in the 4th century Arezzo had become a Bishopric. It was occupied by the Lombards at the end of the 6th century and was strongly conditioned by their influence. In the Middle Ages, Arezzo was a free and powerful commune, often ruled by its Bishops who were Counts of the Holy Roman Empire. The city was frequently at war, with Siena certainly, but above all with Florence and, in 1384, it was finally subjugated to Florentine rule. From then onwards, with the exception of two widespread rebellions in 1502 and 1529-30, Arezzo â€˜s history runs parallel to the history of Florence and, later on, to the fortunes of Tuscany. Today, the ancient centre of the city retains all the fascination of its illustrious past. The principal buildings and monuments possess a wealth of Medieval and Renaissance art created by artists such as Cimabue, Piero della Francesca, Andrea della Robbia and Giorgio Vasari. Arezzo was the birthplace of the great poet Petrarch, and it became internationally famous as the backdrop to a widely acclaimed movie when some of the most beautiful corners of the city’s monumental centre formed the setting for scenes in Roberto Benigni’s film “Life is Beautiful”, three-time Oscar winner in 1999. This is Arezzo, the modern, hard-working, artistic city rooted in the past but renewing itself in the architecture of the present and in exhibitions of contemporary art, whose citizens, with their ingenuity and creativity, still find expression in the aromas and tastes of an ancient culinary tradition, in handcrafts of renowned quality, in a genuine sense of hospitality to tourists, and in such jewellery-making expertise that Arezzo is known worldwide as the “city of gold”. Arezzo, city of the jousting tournament Giostra del Saracino, of the Antiques Fair and of the international polyphonic competition “Guido d’Arezzo”. Arezzo, a gem set amidst the gentle Tuscan hills, birthplace of so many illustrious personages that the distinguished poet Giosuè Carducci exclaimed that the territory of Arezzo alone is “sufficient to give glory to Italy!”.