One Day in Arezzo
Today I want to talk about one of the less frequently visited towns in Tuscany, in spite of having a rich and interesting history and an ancient heart of town , full of interesting monuments and art work that the noble people throughout Italian history have left to this little town of the centre of Italy.
Reaching Arezzo is simple. You could easily park in the train station that has a relatively large parking and then go on foot to the historic centre and to the main street in town.
Arezzo, from my point of view, has many interests that a one-morning-visit can take in and cannot miss in Arezzo:
1- Chiesa di San Domenico:
This church is in the “high part” of town, that is, in the furthest point from the parking area. For that reason you should start your itinerary here. The typical Romanesque church was founded in 1275 and preserves an important crucifix by Cimabue. This is an important piece of art for Cimabue was one of the first medieval artists that provided forms with movement.
2- Casa Vasari
The second place of interest is Casa del Vasari. Vasari, who was an artist, architect and biography writer on Italian artists of the 16th century, lived in Arezzo during the period of maximum splendor of Tuscany. Casa del Vasari, full of symbols of the zodiac and tarot, is, no doubt, one of the most interesting places to visit in beautiful Arezzo.
3- Basilica di San Francesco
This church that is very close to Casa del Vasari displays important pictures by Piero della Francesca, master of perspective of Italian painting of the 1500s.
4- Piazza Grande
Visiting Arezzo can finish in Piazza Grande, aka Piazza Vasari. The piazza is surely one of the hallmarks in town. In this square probably was the Roman forum. On the west side of the church is Pieve di Santa Maria, a ravishing building that was given three different styles: Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance.
On the north side of the piazza is the Palacio delle Logge, designed by Vasari in 1573. On the piazza you will be able to eat in an excellent restaurant called “le Logge del Vasari”. On the south side of the square there are several houses that belonged to the wealthy families in town (for instance Palace Cofani or Brizzolari).
In the middle of the square there is a ravishing fountain of the 1500s that has been shot many times, such as in famed "Life is Beautiful", the 1996 award-winning film starred by Roberto Benigni.
In ravishing Piazza de Arezzo, there is an important medieval celebration held yearly in which each neighborhood competes against the others. It is the famed Giostra del Saracino which you will be able to see in the pictures.
As I always have, I hope this information is useful to you.