The Piazza Grande is the central square of Arezzo and it is around this square that most of the city’s top 10 tourist attractions are situated. Important churches are the San Francesco Basilica and the Cathedral.
Top 10 tourist attractions Arezzo
01. Basilica di San Francesco
The San Francesco Basilica is best known for the wall paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries that can be seen there. The frescoes in this Bacci Chapel or Cappella Maggiore have been turned into a museum (the Museo della Basilica San Francesco) and can only be viewed in small groups.
02. Piazza Grande
The sloping Piazza Grande forms the backdrop to Arezzo’s most famous festival, the Giostra del Saracino, held twice a year. It is also the central square of the city, on which the most famous buildings stand. Once a month one of the country’s most interesting antique markets is held here.
03. Santa Maria della Pieve
The Santa Maria della Pieve Church is the oldest church in the city. It is one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture, with a huge door on which the months of the year are depicted. The most important work of art in this church Piero Lorenzetti’s polyptych “Madonna and Saints”. Its bell tower is considered the symbol of Arezzo.
04. Duomo (Cathedral)
The imposing Duomo di San Donato is the cathedral of the city. Its biggest attractions are the Mary Magdalene fresco by Piero della Francesca and the baptismal font decorated by Donatello. The most famous work of art in this Gothic church is a “Magdalene” painted by Piero della Francesca.
05. Vasari House Museum
The Casa del Vasari was bought and restored in 1540 by the artist and writer Giorgio Vasari. In 1911 it was purchased by the state to become a museum dedicated to the artist. In addition to the murals by Vasari himself, there are drawn letters by Michelangelo and others on display.
06. Santa Maria delle Grazie Church
The Santa Maria delle Grazie Church stands south of the city center. The church has a beautiful portico and an impressive main altar created by Andrea della Robbia. It is a late Gothic church with a mural created by Parri di Spinello.
07. San Domenico Church
The less well-known Chiesa di San Domenico was built in the 13th century. The most famous work of art on display in this church is a “Crucifix” created by Cimabue. From a historical point of view, it is important because the very first conclave was held here.
08. Museum of Medieval and Modern Art
The State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art (Museo Nazionale d’Arte Medievale e Moderna) is housed in the Palazzo Bruni Ciocchi. The collection ranges from the 8th (tombstones) to the 20th century. Many works of art once hung or stood in the churches of Arezzo.
09. Badia delle Sante Flora e Lucilla
Another beautiful church, in the Piazza Badia. The Badia delle Sante Flora e Lucilla was designed by Vasari and with a trademark trompe-l’oeil dome designed by Andrea Pozzo.
10. Museo Archeologico Mecenate
The archaeological museum of Arezzo is housed in a monastery which itself is built on an ancient Roman amphitheater. The museum deals mostly with Etruscan, Villanovan and Roman artefacts.