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Arezzo, the enchanting medieval city

What to see: a small vademecum

Arezzo is a true jewel of Tuscany; famous for the processing of gold but also as a city of ceramics and metal, it fascinates above all for its enchanting historic center, with a medieval character and also for its amphitheater.

Returning to the center, particularly striking is the Piazza Grande sloping, a truly breathtaking square.  Also worth seeing are the countless museums and churches, where you can admire artistic treasures and masterpieces by famous artists such as Piero della Francesca or Giorgio Vasari, although Michelangelo is the most illustrious son of the city (he was actually born in Caprese , small town near Arezzo): the work of the famous medieval artist is ubiquitous here.


Arezzo, its origins


Originally, the city was inhabited by the Etruscan people and the archaeological finds present date back to a human presence as early as the fourth century BC.c.. Since Arezzo is located on a hill it is divided into a lower and an upper part, with the upper part mainly historical and the lower part with a modern character.


Piazza Grande

The most important square is obviously Piazza Grande; as the name suggests, it is a large square with a series of interesting buildings and incredible beauty. The architecture is a fantastic mix of Renaissance and medieval styles that come together; on the north-eastern side there is a long arched portico: sit at one of the charming cafes where you can simply people watch and enjoy the comings and goings of Piazza Grande.


Basilica of San Francesco


From the outside you may not fully understand the beauty of the Basilica of San Francesco: its front façade is quite simple and has a single circular window.

Created in the thirteenth century, it is one of the oldest churches in Arezzo and is renowned for its interior decoration and Renaissance frescoes;  an absolute must of the city.

The main feature of the Basilica is the fresco entitled "The legend of the true cross", a work that is located inside the presbytery and was created by Bicci di Lorenzo.

Every wall, arch and surface is covered with absolutely stunning paintings depicting this historical legend.


Church of Santa Maria della Pieve

This delightful church is located on the western side of the Piazza Grande and is recognized as one of the most beautiful and unique religious structures in Arezzo. The front façade has no equal and has three orders of splendid stone arches; above the arches there is a large bell tower that also has several floors of double arches.

Created in the eleventh century, this church is the oldest remaining in Arezzo and stands as a testimony to the ancient power and wealth of the city.


Vasari's House


"A house started in Arezzo, with a site to make beautiful gardens in the village of San Vito, in the best air of the city": with these words Giorgio Vasari (describes his house, purchased in 1541, currently home to the museum of the same name.

This beautiful palace is one of the most precious sites in Arezzo and is famous for its valuable frescoes and works of art; the house was purchased by Vasari in the sixteenth century who also used it as a personal canvas since each room is richly decorated and presents some absolutely stunning works by the artist himself.

Following a Mannerist style, noteworthy rooms include the Hall of the Muses, the Salon and the beautiful garden.

Vasari's greatness is evident as you stay in this superb creation.



image sources: toscana info, casavacanze, museo di casa vasari, latitudes travel magazione