Arezzo

Arezzo: in one of Italy’s most popular regions, discover this charming town in Tuscany. It boasts an impressive history, and a less touristy atmosphere than its more famous neighbors.

arezzo

You will find Arezzo in the beautiful Tuscany region of Western Italy. It lies roughly 80km southeast of Florence, and, like many towns in Tuscany, sits on top of a hill looking over the surrounding countryside.

Even in Etruscan times, this town was very important. In fact, Aritim, as it was then known, was thought to be one of the 12 most important Etruscan cities in the area. It is thought to have been founded in roughly the 9th Century BCE. Once the Romans overthrew the city, it turned into an vital military station on the Via Cassia. Unfortunately, the bombings of the WWII destroyed much of the historical center, however some remnants and ruins still remain.

On the main square, Piazza Grande, you will find the town Cathedral. This saw its foundations laid in the 14th Century, however building didn’t finish until the 16th Century. In fact, the bell tower actually dates back to the 1900s! Inside you will find a beautiful fresco cycle by Piero della Francesca. In the same area you can visit the Fortezza Medicea. This is a gorgeous building, and its surroundings comprise some of the town’s greenest areas. Note the statue of Petrarch, one of Arezzo’s favorite exports, in the opening courtyard.

The ruins of the Roman amphitheater are also worth a visit. Unfortunately, little remains of what once held around 13,000 people. However, there is a highly interesting archeological museum attached to the sight that can give much more insight and context. We would also recommend the Chiesa di San Domenico, which exhibits a wooden crucifix by the artist Cimabue.

The fact that Arezzo is not as famous as other art cities in Tuscany means it is also less touristy. This means you can wander the city with the locals, and enjoy more peaceful views over the rolling Tuscan countryside.

You can easily reach Arezzo from other Tuscan cities, the regional train connections are very good. Alternatively, road connections are good, and there are also bus transfers between Tuscany’s main cities.