The hill town of Arezzo is one of the most affluent cities in Tuscany and the capital of the province of the same name. The town has a number of magnificent Romanesque and Gothic churches. The most important of these are located around the city’s central square, Piazza Grande.
All about Arezzo
Tourist Office: The tourist office of Arezzo is called: Centro di Accoglienza Turistica Benvenuti ad Arezzo. There are two offices: Palazzo Comunale, Piazza della Libertà, 1 (Tel 0575401945) and Piazza della Repubblica, 28 (Tel 057526850). Both of these are open all week. Monday to Friday: 10.00 – 13.00 e 14.00 – 19.00; Saturday, Sunday and holidays: 10.00 – 19.00.
By car/public transportation
The city is located about 180 kilometers north of Rome and about 60 kilometers southeast of Florence.
By car from Rome: Take the E35 in a northerly direction. From Monte San Salvino continue on the E78 or SS73. By car from Florence: Take the E35 to the south. At Ponticino take the SR69 to Arezzo.
Public transportation from Rome: There is a direct train connection from Roma Termini as well as from Roma Tiburtina. Public transportation from Florence: There is a regular train connection from Firenze Santa Maria Novella.
What to see
The city’s main square is the Piazza Grande and it is around this square that most of the city’s main tourist attractions are found. Important churches are the San Francesco Basilica and the Cathedral. Other highlights include the Casa del Vasari, frescoed by the painter himself, and the Fortezza Medicea. The most beautiful park is the Prato, which is right next to this castle. The Chimera Fountain near the station is a copy of a famous Etruscan original.
Arezzo has been inhabited since prehistoric times. In Etruscan times there were several settlements and the name derives from the Etruscan Arretium, which was built around a fortress. The current Arezzo dates back to Roman times. The city was built along the Cassia Vetus consular road that connected Rome to the Apennines. In the Middle Ages it first became a city-state, but later became subordinate to Florence. This was to last until the Italian unification. After being damaged by bombing in World War II, several medieval streets were transformed into wide alleys.
Events and festivals Arezzo
The Giostra del Saracino is a jousting tournament, which is held twice a year. On the last Sunday of June and the first Sunday of September, the districts of the city compete against each other.
The antiques market (Mercato dell’Antiquariato) is considered one of the best in the country.
Arezzo is also known for its gold jewelry. It is therefore no coincidence that the 3rd edition of a major jewelry exhibition will take place here from June 12 to 15, 2021. The event has been given the title OroArezzo.
It was in the 11th century that the city was first divided into districts. The names of the neighborhoods of Arezzo are all derived from the gates in the city walls. This is still true today although the names have changed.
The city’s most famous inhabitants have been the poet Petrarch and the writer/artist Vasari. Guido d’Arezzo was a Benedictine monk who is considered the founder of musical notation. In the 16th century, Pietro Aretino wrote both spiritual songs and pornographic poems. Maecenas was a famous patron of the arts and his name, in many languages, has, in fact, become synonymous with the word “patron”.
Day trips in the province of Arezzo
The hilly area around Arezzo is gorgeous and there are several small and medium-sized hill towns that are worth a visit. One of the most beautiful ones of these is Anghiari, with the Santa Maria delle Grazie Church and several interesting historical buildings. Another popular destination for a day trip is Cortona. Bibbiena is situated further to the north.