Lucignano, a small suburb in southern Tuscany, is one of the most extraordinary examples of medieval urbanism because of its elliptical plant with concentric rings.
Its plant is developed through an interesting spatial and functional articulation, between the "rich street" (Borgo ricco), now Via Matteotti looking South and bright and ample where the residential buildings built by the nobility rise and "poor street", now Via Roma (called Corsica) looking north, northwest where smaller houses rise, characterised by poor buildings and built by the lower classes of the town.
The position of Lucignano, 414 metres above sea level, overlooking the Valdichiana, and on the main route between Siena and Arezzo, has given it strategic importance since its origins and meant that it was continually at the center of battles between the surrounding territories as a medieval castle.
For the three centuries from 1200 to 1500, Lucignano passed continually between the giurisdiction of Siena, Arezzo, Firenze and Perugia. Lucignano received the gift of Perugia's coat-of-arms, (still used today), the winged griffon, to which she added a star to show the hilltop position of the town.
The name Lucignano probably originates from a Roman castrum founded by the consul Licinio, and which became known as Lucinianum after the conquest by Lucio Silla in the 1st century B.C.. Important archaeological finds indicate that there were also Etruscan settlements in the surrounding areas.
The present day layout of Lucignano originated around the year 1200, and was completed in the 16th century, when the summit of the hill where the castle was originally was transformed into a center of religious and politcal power. In 1300, under the rule of Siena, the fortifications were completed with the city walls and three city gates (1371): Porta S. Giusto, Porta S. Giovanni, and the so-called Porta Murata.
Today, Lucignano still maintains intact its fascinating atmosphere of an ancient village where agricultural and artisan traditions offer the visitor an interesting variety of products rangfrom extra-virgin olive oil and honey, the production and restoration of inlaid furniture, the production of ceramics and gold jewellery, work in pietra serena and travertine, and the making of high quality clothing, all produced by the highly skilled and professional local population.
Where is Lucignano: is located in the south of Arezzo province, on the border with the province of Siena.
How to reach Lucignano: From Arezzo, take the E78 direction south and exit Lucignano, which is 25 Km far
Nearby: Visit Monte San Savino, Gargonza, Castiglion Fiorentino, Cortona and the south of Siena
Distances: Arezzo 25 Km - Siena 40 Km - Florence 90 Km - Pisa 160 Km