Arezzo: mappa del centro storico

Antichemura: in the heart of the Old Town of Arezzo

Antiche Mura welcomes you to Arezzo! The Old Town of Arezzo is small and cozy, but you will be able to find a wealth of places of historical interest, museums that hold works of art and ancient archaeological finds, and picturesque corners that will fascinate and leave you speechless. There are so many attractions and things to see in Arezzo, which is why we at Antiche Mura have created this small guide to the historic center of Arezzo in order to help you build your ideal itinerary and your perfect tour of downtown Arezzo.

A concentrated Old Town like Arezzo’s brings many advantages, first of all the possibility to see so much even with a short stay. In Arezzo, however, you will also find a real surprise: unlike in most Italian cities, finding parking in Arezzo is very easy. Antiche Mura, then , is in a prime location: outside the walls, the Pietri Parking lot offers ample free space, and from there you can easily reach Arezzo Cathedral, just a stone’s throw away, with a handy covered escalator. Read on to find out all there is to see in Arezzo, from Art to ancient history!

Il Duomo: La Cattedrale di Arezzo

The Cathedral of Arezzo, officially the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donatus, dominates the cityscape with its grandeur. The Cathedral was built in 1277 at the behest of Bishop and condottiere Guglielmo degli Umbertini. Although work was officially completed in 1511, the Cathedral was not completed until 1863. Characterized by various architectural styles, the transition from Romanesque to Gothic, which occurred around 1300, stands out with its elevated naves and soaring windows. Inside, the Cathedral houses real artistic treasures, including a work by Piero della Francesca-a splendid fresco of Mary Magdalene . The Cathedral of represents an essential stop for anyone visiting Arezzo, and we also recommend a walk through the Cathedral Park behind the Cathedral.

Here are some of the things to see at the Cathedral of Arezzo : the stained glass windows by Guillaume de Marcillat, the terracottas by Andrea della Robbia and the ‘Arca di San Donato , the tomb of Arezzo’s patron saint.

Basilica di San Francesco

The Basilica of St. Francis in Arezzo represents a melting pot of history, art and sacredness. The Basilica has an incomplete facade, but hides priceless artistic treasures inside. This church, located in the eponymous Piazza San Francesco, is most famous for the cycle “The Story of the True Cross.” The work was mainly done by Piero Della Francesca between 1452 and 1466. The church has experienced very difficult times, including a fire in 1556 and conversion to a warehouse during the 19th century. However, thanks to restoration work in the 1900s and 2020s, the Basilica has been revalued to become a flagship for the city. Thus, the Basilica of St. Francis bears witness to a long history of resilience and art that has never been forgotten, definitely an essential stop on a tour of Arezzo’s Old Town!

Here is a list of things to see in the Basilica of St. Francis: the frescoes by Spinello Aretino, the Cycle by Lorentino d’Andrea, and the famous fresco “St. Francis in Ecstasy before the Virgin” by Arezzo’s Bernardino Santini.

Arezzo: La Basilica di San Domenico

The Basilica of San Domenico is one of the main historic buildings in the historic center of Arezzo. Built by the Dominicans in 1240 and completed in the 14th century, the building received financial support from families such as the Ubertini and Tarlati families. The Basilica is architecturally similar to the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, and its interior walls reflect the fusion of artistic styles between the 14th and 15th centuries. Although the church was abandoned in 1782, it still preserves works of art such as Cimabue’s Crucifix and Renaissance frescoes by Spinello Aretino. Inside the Basilica, one of its main attractions is Beato Angelico’s funerary monument, created by Andrea della Robbia. The building also houses works by Giovanni and Giacomo della Robbia. San Domenico, with all this artistic richness, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. The Basilica, located near the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donato, is a must-see for those visiting Arezzo.

Other things to see in the Basilica of San Domenico include : “The Crucifixion among the Saints” by Parri di Spinello, the tomb of Niccol√≤ Soggi , a fresco by Giorgio Vasari’s great-grandfather, and the Dragondelli Chapel.

Santa Maria della Pieve

The Pieve di Santa Maria, located on Corso Italia in the Old Town of Arezzo, is a masterpiece of art that combines Romanesque and Gothic elements, emerging as one of the city’s most fascinating sacred buildings.This place of worship is not only a historical landmark but also an architectural one: the raised presbytery and the apse overlooking Piazza Grande are distinctive examples.Whether or not you are a lover of art and architecture, a visit to the Pieve is essential.Every detail of the building reflects the deep history and priceless artistic value it has offered Arezzo for generations.The Pieve di Santa Maria is therefore a must-see for anyone visiting the city, and its location makes it extremely easy to visit from the Antiche Mura B&B.

Some of the things you can see at the Pieve di Santa Maria are : the polyptych by Pietro Lorenzetti, the Reliquary Bust of St. Donato, the “Stories of St. John the Baptist” by Giovanni d’Agostino or “The Adoption of the Magi,” by an artist unfortunately unknown.

Badia delle Sante Flora e Lucilla

The Abbey of Saints Flora and Lucilla, a small church in the historic center of Arezzo, is an emblem of the city’s art and history.

The Badia was built in the 9th century to house the relics of Saints Flora and Lucilla, and since then the building has seen several changes occur over the centuries.In fact, the Abbey of Saints Flora and Lucilla has gone from its Gothic version in 1278 to the cloister of 1489, to Giorgio Vasari’s Renaissance transformations in 1565 and the bell tower in 1650.The interior of the church holds frescoes and priceless works of art, such as the painted Cross by the Sienese Segna di Bonaventura.Among the architectural gems is the Tabernacle of the Sacrament, probably the work of Benedetto da Maiano, from 1478.Other things to see inside the Abbey of Saints Flora and Lucilla are : the fresco of St. Lawrence by Bartolomeo della Gatta and the painting of the Mock Dome by Andrea Pozzo.

Arezzo: Piazza Grande - Foto di Raul Dominici

Piazza Vasari is the official name for what is known in Arezzo simply as “Piazza Grande.”

Piazza Grande is the heart of the Old Town, the city’s most famous square, and reflects its history with a combination of different architectures, from the Gothic period to the Renaissance.The Piazza was also immortalized in Roberto Benigni’s famous film, “Life is Beautiful,” so picturesque and fascinating is it.Piazza Grande was formerly the mercantile center of the city, and even earlier, in Roman times, it is believed to have housed the Forum of Ancient Arretium.The Piazza has a sloping brick pavement and is home to such important buildings as the Palace of the Fraternita dei Laici, a very important Arezzo institution, or the apse of the Pieve di Santa Maria, which, with its mysterious “crooked column” , is truly a unique and inimitable apse. Piazza Grande is also the site of the world-famous Saracen Joust, which twice a year enlivens the passion of the inhabitants of Arezzo’s quarters.

Other things to see in Piazza Grande are : the Palazzo delle Logge, the work of Giorgio Vasari, the Palazzo del Tribunale, the Faggiolana Tower, the COfani-Brizzolari Palace, and the Lappoli casatorre.

Fortezza di Arezzo

The Prato Park, located in the upper Old Town of Arezzo, is overlooked by the Medici Fortress, offering visitors a relaxing oasis. The Park is located behind the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donato, and was turned into a public garden in the 19th century. The Lawn, as it is called in Arezzo, boasts centuries-old trees and a statue dedicated to Francesco Petrarca. Not far from the Prato you will find the Medici Fortress, originally dating back to 1319,which has gone through several destructions and reconstructions. Today’s pentagonal structure is based on designs by Sangallo and Nanni Unghero, commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici in the 16th century. The Fortress was donated to the City of Arezzo by the Fossombroni Family in the 19th century, and since then important archaeological remains have been discovered that have been brought to light very recently. In fact, the Medici Fortress has recently been restored, and is now the site of high-profile temporary exhibitions and displays. The Fortress dominates Arezzo from its highest point, and from its inner courtyard it is possible to admire a breathtaking panorama, which extends 360 degrees over the entire territory surrounding the city of Arezzo.

Arezzo : L'anfiteatro Romano

The Roman Amphitheater in Arezzo, dating from the Hadrianic age (117-138 AD),was an imposing structure that could accommodate up to 10,000 spectators for gladiatorial games and shows. The Amphitheater is located south of the historic center of Arezzo. The structure of the elliptical building measures 71.9 by 42.7 meters, so only slightly smaller than the more famous Colosseum in Rome. The Roman Amphitheater , throughout history, has suffered several pillages and some of its material has been used to construct other buildings, foremost among them the 16th-century Monastery of St. Bernard. The Monastery now houses the “Gaius Cilnius Maecenas” Archaeological Museum, founded in 1936, which preserves artifacts from Arezzo’s Etruscan founding to the Roman period. The amphitheater and the museum are definitely must-see attractions for those who want to visit Arezzo.

Here are a few things to see at the “Gaius Cilnio Maecenas” Archaeological Museum: the jewels of the Poggio del Sole Necropolis, a polychrome decoration depicting the Battle of Piazza San Jacopo from 480 B.C., some of the famous “Arretina Vasa,” a type of Arezzo pottery that was famous throughout the Roman Empire.

Arezzo, Casa Museo di Giorgio Vasari : deposizione di Cristo

The Giorgio Vasari House Museum in the historic center of Arezzo is a tribute to the illustrious Arezzo artist and architect Giorgio Vasari. The Vasari House is located near the Basilica of San Domenico and was the home where Vasari lived and worked, personally frescoing the walls. Vasari was born in Arezzo in 1511 and was very influential in the Medici court, bonding with figures such as Raphael and Michelangelo. Vasari was not only a mannerist painter, but also a distinguished architect known for works such as the Palazzo della Carovana and the world-famous Uffizi in Florence, of which we mention the famous Vasarian Corridor. Vasari wrote “The Lives,” a work that remains an essential source for the History of Renaissance Art. The architect and painter filled his house with valuable works of art, and it became a museum in 1911, preserving the family archive and numerous frescoed rooms.

Here are some things to see at Giorgio Vasari’s House Museum : the Hall of the Fireplace or the Triumph of Virtue, frescoes by Giorgio Vasari himself, the Corridor of Dragons, the Hall of Abraham, and finally the “Quadreria,” where you can admire paintings by Giorgio Vasari’s collaborators.

Arezzo: La Casa Natale di Francesco Petrarca- o "Casa petrarca"

The House of Francesco Petrarca is located in the heart of Arezzo’s Old Town and is one of the city’s most celebrated historic buildings. Born in Arezzo in 1304, Francesco Petrarch is considered the precursor of humanism, having contributed greatly to Italian literature as a poet, writer and philosopher. After traveling between many European cities and serving the Colonna family, Petrarch devoted himself intensively to writing, receiving numerous awards for his talent. His passion for ancient texts made him instrumental in the development of humanism. Petrarch’s birthplace, damaged during the war and later restored, is now the home of the Petrarch Academy of Letters, Arts and Sciences and houses the Casa Petrarca Museum.

Among the things to see at the House of Petrarch are : a selection of Great Tuscan Renaissance Canvases, a series of relics of Francesco Petrarch himself, a valuable collection of 250 very old coins, and finally, we repeat, the Petrarch Academy of Letters, Arts and Sciences, which is a very important institution in Arezzo.

Arezzo: La Casa Museo di Ivan Bruschi, dettaglio interno

The Ivan Bruschi House Museum, located in the 14th-century Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo in the Old Town of Arezzo, houses the vast private collection of the distinguished Arezzo antique dealer Ivan Bruschi, who died in 1996. Bruschi, born in Castiglion Fibocchi in 1920, was and is a key figure in Italian antiques. Ivan Bruschi grew up in a family that was passionate about antiques, and he gave birth in 1968 to the Arezzo Antiques Fair, revitalizing the historic center and making the city a point of reference in national and international antiques. His collection, consisting of about ten thousand pieces, ranges from prehistoric to contemporary times, offering visitors a journey through furniture, paintings, sculptures and other valuable objects. Spread over three floors, the museum allows visitors to admire works by masters such as Tintoretto and Guido Reni.

Here is a list of other things to see in the Ivan Bruschi House Museum: the Venus of Arezzo dating back to prehistoric times, Egyptian, Etruscan and Roman artifacts, furniture, weapons and textiles from the medieval and modern ages, and then jewelry, books and scientific instruments collected over the years by antiquarian Ivan Bruschi.

The State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art, located in the Bruni Ciocchi Palace in the Old Town of Arezzo, represents a significant part of Arezzo’s cultural heritage. The building, once owned by the Bruni, Ciocchi and Conti Barbolani di Montauto families, was known as the “Customs Palace” in the 19th century. Inside the museum, visitors can immerse themselves in history through medieval frescoes and art collections ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The statele museum became an exhibition venue in the 1950s and holds works closely related to the city, many from the Fraternita dei Laici, a historic patronage institution in Arezzo. This facility offers a comprehensive overview of the region’s artistic and historical evolution.

Here is a list of some of the things to see at the Arezzo State Museum of Medieval and Modern Art: paintings by Spinello Aretino and Parri di Spinello, Giorgio Vasari’s “Convito per le nozze di Ester ed Assuero,” an extensive collection of Italian majolica, reliefs and sculptures ranging from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

Antiche Mura: discover with us the Old Town of Arezzo!

After exploring the riches of Arezzo, you are ready to return to your cozy retreat at Antiche Mura B&B. Every corner of the historic center, with its works of art, archaeological finds and picturesque scenes, tells centuries-old stories that are interwoven with the modern fabric of the city. Evidence of the past coexists harmoniously with the current pace, offering a unique experience to those who visit Arezzo.

Our strategically located property is intended to be the ideal starting and returning point for all your adventures in the city. And at the end of your discovery-filled days, B&B Antiche Mura awaits you, offering comfort and relaxation, ensuring an authentic and unforgettable experience of your Arezzo stay.