Built on a pre-existent settlement from the Etruscan-Roman age, Civitella fortress was used during the Lombard Kingdom rule as a means to control the territory thanks to its strategic position. In fact the monumental ruins of the Rocca di Civitella in Val di Chiana dominate the underlying fortified village.
The village still has the layout of its town walls, which are almost intact and which preserve the characteristic elittical shape of the military settlements.
Immediately after its foundation Civitella was subdued to the bishops of Arezzo, at the time it was known as 'Civitella del Vescovo' (Civitella of the Bishop), and was the chief town of the medieval military district of the Ambra Valley.
Even if the bishop Guglielmino degli Ubertini belonged to the Ghibelline faction, he entered in contrast with the town of Arezzo, so he retired to Civitella becoming the leader of a Guelf group. After having resisted the Sienese army, Guglielmino could not avoid an assault by the Ghibellines of Arezzo in 1265, who destroyed the fortress.
In 1289, after the battle of Campaldino, this area was occupied by the Florentine, to return few years later again to the bishops. During 13th century the castle, as so many others in this area, on the occasion of the agreements that took away the independence of Arezzo for temporary periods, was committed to the Florentine Republic until the 1384, when it was definitely subjected to the 'City of the Red Lily'. In 1554, during the 'War of Siena' the castle withstand the siege of the Imperial troops, also thanks to the great works of strengthening carried on in the previous years. The state of downfall in which today the fortification lies is not owed to these remote war events, but to the destructions perpetuated by the German Army in 1944, when for retaliation was destroyed great part of the village. Besides the castle, it is possible to admire an enlarged wall, enriched by several bastions visible from the ring road. Another wall was erected inside the castle wall to separate the fortress from the rest.
Civitella is surrounded by the almost intact medieval town walls, alternated by squared towers and endowed with a massive fortified gate called 'Porta Aretina'.
For further information:
Web site: www.comune.civitella-in-val-di-chiana.ar.it