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Tuscany Travel Guide


Overview of Arezzo

Heavily bombed during WWII, Arezzo has been mostly rebuilt during the later years. It however maintains some jewels that are very much worth seeing. Piazza Grande is one of these. Also the Pieve di Santa Maria nd the uncomparable frescoes by Piero della Francesca. Arezzo has also been the set of Roberto Benigni's "Life is Beautiful".
Born as an Etruscan city and later absorbed as a Roman town, it became a free republic in the 10th century. Then won over by Florence in the Guelfi and Ghibellini power-struggle battle, it later gave birth to the great Petrarch and Antonio Vasari. Every first weekend of each month the center of Arezzo pulls together a huge antiquity fair with more than 500 exhibitors. Just North of Arezzo is the National Park of Foreste Casentinesi, commanding unforgettable views over the Appenins mountains.

How to Get There

BY CAR: From Florence take the A-1 highway to Arezzo. Exit at Arezzo. Time: 56 min.
BY TRAIN: On the Florence-Rome line. From Florence it takes 1 and half hour. From Rome it takes 2 hours.
BY BUS: From and to Cortona (1 hour), Sansepolcro (1 hour) and Siena (1 and half hour).

What to See

The Chiesa di San Francesco (church) opens at 8,30 until noon, and from 2 to 6:30 pm. The church presents the Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca. Audio Guided visits for groups of up to 25 people for a close up of the 10 frescoes can be booked calling +39 0575 35 27 27. The ticket office is at Piazza San Francesco 4.
The "Pieve di Santa Maria" is another important church to visit. Open from 8am to 1pm and from 3 to 7pm from May to Sept. and from 8am to noon and from 3 to 6pm from October to April. Here Pietro Lorenzetti has painted the polyptych Madonna and Saints.
Piazza Grande is a must see location with the Palazzo delle Logge Vasariane, Palazzo della Fraternita' dei Laici, and the former house of Petrarca Casa di Petrarca in Via dei Pilati.
The "Cathedral" in Piazza del Duomo is open from 6,30 am to 12,30 pm and from 3 to 6,30 pm is worth seeing for the beautiful marble artwork and Piero della Francesca's Mary Magdalene.
The Archeological Museum and the Roman Amphitheatre are in Via Margaritone 10, open from 8,30am to 7,30pm with a sizeable colletion of Roman and Etruscan remains.

Where to Eat

Le Logge del Vasari Restaurant : Sophisticated Tuscan cooking, with a hint of classy experimentation in a fine cozy environment.
Osteria del Borghicciolo : tipical Arezzo dishes with traditional Tuscan cooking.
L'Ocanda : simple and true to its roots, offers a trattoria like environment with tasty food.

Main Towns of Valdichiana

Arezzo, Cortona , Montepulciano, Chianciano Terme, Chiusi, Torrita di Siena, Foiano, Lucignano

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