Arezzo and the Renaissance
When the soul is refined, Renaissance art paints its nuances.
Relive the golden age of the Renaissance in the historic houses, castles and villages of Arezzo. Experience the authentic Tuscan spirit in the folk festivals, between flights of flags and ancient flavors. A journey through time to discover the colors and techniques that have created eternal masterpieces and to repaint your life with new perspectives.
Nestled between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age, the Renaissance exudes an irresistible charm in the land of Arezzo. Wander among historic residences, fortresses and dream towns. The churches and museums of the Arezzo area preserve the genius of this splendid era impressed in the many masterpieces of painting, architecture and manufacture that lived here. The revival of intellect and creativity is also written elsewhere in the squares and buildings realized in the middle of the Fourteenth century and the end of the Sixteenth century in this extraordinary pearl of Tuscany.
Frescoes, paintings, ceramics and Renaissance decorations adorn walls and environments with refinement capturing your gaze and your heart. Sometimes these works photographed the appearance the city and its surroundings had at that time. Views quite different from those you are faced with today. Yet, much has been saved from the magical atmosphere of the time. Centuries have seen at work in Arezzo and in its valleys genius of the caliber of Piero della Francesca and Giorgio Vasari.
The landscapes, however, reveal themselves to you almost everywhere unchanged. The nature of Arezzo alternates plains, hills and mountains, valleys dedicated to agriculture and areas of passage where trade and traditions flourished. The territory fueled the aims of conquest of the powerful near andfar - for this reason it was the scene of epic battles. Even Leonardo da Vinci so fell in love as to immortalize the landscape furrowed by the Arno in the background of the Mona Lisa.
The Prato, the oldest park in Arezzo, opens with its green esplanade on top of the city. It was built in the Sixteenth century and is the antechamber to the contemporary Medicean Fortress from which you dominate the whole district and you can enjoy a good view. A defensive structure that finds an echo in Valdichiana in the Girifalco Fortress in Cortona dating back to the Twelfth century and modified by the Florentine rulers, the Medici family.
The scenic plain in front of Anghiari recalls the Battle of 1440 fought at the foot of the village. Not far from here in Sansepolcro, Piero della Francesca, the excellent painter of the Fifteenth century who painted the cycle of frescoes of the Legend of the True Cross in the Basilica of Saint Francis in Arezzo, came into the world. His other masterpieces are gathered in Valtiberina: in Monterchi there is the Madonna del Parto, at the Civic Museum of Sansepolcro the Resurrection and the Polyptych of Mercy.
The birthplace of Piero can be visited as well as that of Michelangelo Buonarroti Caprese Michelangelo. Talking about illustrious residences, in the old city centre of Arezzo there is the Museum of Casa Vasari linked to the multifaceted artist Giorgio Vasari. He lived in the Sixteenth century and he is responsible for the Loggia in Piazza Grande as well as for the Bell Tower of the Palace of the Fraternita dei Laici.
Ceramics by Della Robbia are a leitmotif of the territory of Arezzo. The Della Robbia family with its different generations of ceramic masters invented a prodigious recipe during the Renaissance:a solution (still partly secret) in which they immersed their works making them shiny like glass, longer lasting and more resistant in open spaces. The technique of glazed terracotta which conquered the patrons of the time still hypnotizes visitors from all over the world. Go to Valtiberina in search of the masterpieces made by Santi and Benedetto Buglioni, who learned the craft in the workshop of Della Robbia. In the villages of the Alpe della Luna their paintings “imprisoned in ceramics” ennobled abbeys and churches. A path that cannot be more impressive made of unique ceramics artists scattered in one of the corners of the province of Arezzo where nature gives the best of itself.
From the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to that of Santissima Annunziata passing through the Medicean Fortress, the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art and the Basilica of Saint Francis. There are many places in Arezzo linked to the Renaissance. The spirit of that golden age whispers its presence to you from every corner of the old city centre. These are the same suggestions that Robert Whitworth captured for you in An Ode to Arezzo.The video tribute of the famous photographer and film-make interweaves past and present wonders of the Arezzo area in a spectacular visual narration.
Retrace the places of the Battle of Anghiari: in 1440, under the walls of the village, the Florentine troops defeated those of Milan consolidating the supremacy of the Tuscan city over the Valtiberina. A clash that you can reconstruct and deepen here, along with the secrets of a great lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci. In Arezzo Giorgio Vasari left an exceptional legacy of his versatile talent. The artist’s love for his city has been combined with skill and has generated works that you admire inside museums and churches. Beautiful pictures, a house that is a bijou and the beautiful porch of Piazza Grande await you.
Travel through history along the Via Setteponti between Arezzo and Valdarno. An itinerary dotted with parishes, mills, bridges and communication routes used for centuries in the valley washed by the most important river in Tuscany. From one stop to the next, you are amazed by the enchanting mix of religiosity, nature and art that this area offers you. Do not miss the fantastic roads to experience by bike near the city. Cycle to Capolona and Castiglion Fibocchi for a ride among vineyards and hills, olive trees and cypress trees to the banks of the Arno. A full immersion in a fairytale reserve, where you can try various trekking paths or birdwatching, awaits you.