Arezzo, Italy



Top Sights in Arezzo

With popular cities such as Florence, Siena, Assisi and Cortona (Under the Tuscan Sun fame) so close by, Arezzo is often skipped by many tourists however it is worth a visit.


During Etruscan times, Arezzo was a member of the League of 12 Cities.  This was a loose confederation that was mostly an economic and religious league, very similar in concept to the ancient Greek states.  In Roman times the city was called Arretium.  Today, Italians often vote Arezzo one of Italy's most livable cities.


Top Sights in Arezzo

Piazza Grande- The old town is on a hill and its heart is the large Piazza Grande which includes the large Palazzo delle Logge and the Romanesque church of Santa Maria whose bell tower dates to 1330 and is known as "the tower of a hundred holes."


Casa di Giorgio Vasari- The most important Renaissance artist from Arezzo was named Giorgio Vasari.  He designed the Palazzo delle Logge in the town square and was a consultant on art to the Medici Duke Cosimo I.  His style of art was known as "mannerism."  He personally coined this phrase and it was meant to refer to an artist who paints in the similar manner that Michelangelo painted.  In his Casa (house) you can see frescos that he painted and are good representations of this style which ended the Renaissance period, implying that Michelangelo was the best and from then on artists will only mimic his work.


Church of San Francesco- Arezzo's most famous piece of art is located in the main choir chapel of the Church of San Francesco.  "The Legend of the True Cross" is a fresco cycle by Piero della Francesca and it is considered one of the most important pieces of Renaissance art.  The frescos were commissioned to promote interest in the crusades which were starting to lose popularity.  The fresco also includes what is said to be the first "night scene" in Western art.


Duomo San Donato- Arezzo's cathedral is at the highest point in the city, vying for the heavens.  It was begun in the 13th century but not completed until the 20th century.  In the 16th century a monk from Chartres France came here and designed the stained glass windows.


Life is Beautiful- Roberto Benigni's Oscar winning film about Italy during WWII was filmed in Arezzo.  You will find information boards in town which explain the film locations.


Shopping- Arezzo is famous for its antique market which takes place on the first weekend of each month.  The market is centered around the Piazza Grande.


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