Everyone knows that Italy is one of the countries with the most monuments and works of art in the world, and Arezzo, Tuscany, makes no exception. Because of its rich history, in fact, the city is quite famous both nationally and internationally.
Although it started as a simple settlement in pre-historic times, Arezzo grew into one of the most important centers in Etruscan life, thus becoming the depository of the “Chimera”, a bronze statue depicting the famous mythological creature, and of many other important masterpieces. Arezzo was also an important Roman outpost towards northern Italy, and retained its prestige even throughout the middle Ages and the Renaissance, and many churches and abbeys were built there.
But what are the main tourist attractions in Arezzo, Italy?
The first thing you should definitely see is Piazza Grande, the main square, which is particular in that it is lopsided and sloping – not your regular square – and it is the venue of both the famous Giostra del Saracino, a medieval festival held twice a year, and of a periodical antiques fair, which is one of the largest in Italy.
Then, it depends on what you are most interested in. Because of its proximity to the Papal State, Arezzo houses a great number of churches and abbeys, all of which flaunt important masterpieces. Built between the 13th and 15th centuries, the cathedral boasts a wonderfully carved main altar, a series of glazed terracottas by Andrea della Robbia, and a beautiful fresco of Mary Magdalene painted by Piero della Francesca in 1459.
If it is the footsteps of this great master of the past you are following, then the Cappella Bacci is also worth a visit, as it is the home of the Legend of the True Cross, which was painted between 1452 and 1466.
If you are more interested in secular art, and great houses and palaces, then you should stop by Petrarch’s house: the place where the famous poet lived and wrote is in fact now a small museum and headquarters to the Petrarch Academy, a research organization which studies the works of this master of Italian literature.
The house of Giorgio Vasari, painter, architect, and art historian, is also open to the public, which can admire the original manuscript of his book Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects. Another important stop is the Medici Fortress which overlooks the city and will grant its visitors splendid views of the countryside.
So book your holiday with no fear: the many tourist attractions of Arezzo, Italy, are ready to welcome you.
Photo credit: metmuseum