Arezzo: what to see in a day
Are you short on time and wondering what to see in Arezzo in a day?
Arezzo is a city with just over a hundred thousand inhabitants. This Tuscan provincial capital, among the richest in the region, boasts numerous museums, monuments, churches, and artistic and cultural spaces. Therefore, there are many things you can do and see in Arezzo in a day.
Arezzo: What to see in a day? Piazza Grande
Twenty-four hours is not a lot, but it can also be enough to get to know the best this city has to offer. Your sightseeing tour cannot fail to start at Piazza Grande, also known as Piazza Vasari. It is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, an open-air work of art.
If you want to take an out-of-town trip, if you are visiting Tuscany and in a week you want to try to see as many things as possible, or if you want to halve a very long trip by passing through here, the tour we propose is absolutely perfect to be able to catch some suggestive touches of the city of Arezzo and to breathe in its absolutely special atmosphere.
You will notice a number of buildings from different eras, including Palazzo Tofani and the Lappoli Tower, both from medieval times, and the 16th-century Vasari Loggia. Also of particular importance is the apse of the Pieve di Santa Maria, which overlooks the square.
Remember, however, that the entrance is hidden on the left side, on Via Seteria. If walking through the square you’ll feel like you’ve seen it before, there’s a reason: it was the location for so many scenes in Roberto Benigni’s Oscar-winning film “La vita è bella“. Not only refreshment for the eyes: in and around Piazza Grande you will find excellent restaurants where you can sample some of the delicacies of typical Arezzo and Tuscan cuisine. Once you leave Piazza Grande you can head to the city’s Duomo, just a few minutes’ walk away.
Saint Francis Square
The Basilica of St. Francis: An Artistic Heritage
The Basilica of St. Francis in Arezzo is a meeting of history and art. Near the Petrarch Theater, it hides priceless treasures. The unfinished facade dates back to the 14th century. Inside, the cycle “The Story of the True Cross” by Piero Della Francesca stands out. This fresco is in the Bacci Chapel, financed by wealthy Aretine merchants. Next to it, 14th- and 15th-century frescoes reveal the mastery of Spinello Aretino, also found in the Uffizi.
Arezzo: What to see in a day? Piazza di San Domenico
History and Architecture of the Basilica of San Domenico
The Basilica of San Domenico rises majestically in the square of the same name in Arezzo. Dedicated to the founder of the Dominicans, its construction began in 1240. Until the 14th century, families such as the Ubertini and Tarlati contributed to its construction. The asymmetrical facade is reminiscent of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. In 1276, it hosted the first Conclave. But in 1782, Tuscan reforms left it abandoned. It was later restored in the 20th century.
Interior Treasures and UNESCO Heritage.
Its simple but rich interior is decorated with 14th-century frescoes. Works by Spinello Aretino and his son Parri adorn the walls. Beato Angelico’s monument and Cimabue’s Crucifix are the basilica’s jewels. In 1998, it was recognized as a UNESCO heritage site. A visit here is essential for those who love art and history.
Towards the Duomo
The Cathedral-the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donatus-stands majestically on the top of the hill. The cathedral stands on an earlier early Christian place of worship, and in medieval and modern times it was reborn to its present beauty. The cathedral, with an
imposing facade and marvelous stained-glass windows, the result of the master Guillaume de Marcillat, houses inside, among many other works, a fresco by Piero della Francesca, one of the leading and benchmark artists of the Italian Renaissance.
Right next to the Duomo is the birthplace of Francesco Petrarch, forerunner of humanism and one of the cornerstones of Italian literary history. Today it is a museum that preserves a conspicuous array of antiquarian editions and a rich numismatic collection, which might be worth a visit if you are interested in the genre. Also on this same route, continuing on your way you can stop on XX Settembre Street to visit the house of another illustrious personage.
It is the home of Giorgio Vasari, also turned into a museum. In some rooms there are frescoes created by the architect himself. You can continue the discovery of his works on the last stop of your tour, at the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art on Via San Lorentino, housed inside Palazzo Bruni Ciocchi. Alongside works by local artists you can admire majolica from many regions of Italy. But there is no shortage of frescoes and collections of some value, well preserved within the walls of the ancient noble palace.
Relaxing in the Historic Center
At the end of the tour, we recommend an aperitif in one of the many bars in the historic center, from which you can take a last look at our wonderful village while perhaps enjoying an excellent local wine. Certainly it is impossible to discover all the secrets of Arezzo in just twenty-four
hours, but we guarantee that by following this route you will be able to glean at least a couple of the most significant ones. You can choose to stay at our facility before or after your tour, in any case we will be more than happy to give you all the directions you desire,
customizing your visit in following your wishes. And what better place to base your tour than theB&B Antiche Mura? With its perfect location, our beloved Bed and Breakfast in Historic Center of Arezzo becomes the ideal place to choose as your
starting point. What are you waiting for? We are ready to welcome you to Arezzo!
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Photo credit: Nicola Albertini