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5 must-sees

Arezzo is a city with an ancient history, one of the most important cities of Etruria and a strategic point in Roman times, reaching its maximum splendour between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The city still bears witness to this today, with churches, palaces, monuments and museums housing extraordinary works of art.

The greatest work by Piero della Francesca, one of the most important masterpieces of the Renaissance. This is one of the most refined fresco cycles of the 15th century, with essays of virtuosity, such as the luminism of the Dream of Constantine, among the first nocturnes in the history of Italian art, or the battle scenes.
Basilica of St. Francis, Arezzo

Arezzo’s main church, the Cathedral of Saints  Peter and Donatus stands atop the hill of San Pietro. It was built in Gothic style starting in 1277, thanks to the legacy of Pope Gregory X. It houses numerous works of art such as the “Magdalene” by Piero della Francesca, the Renaissance stained glass windows by Guillaume de Marcillat, the neoclassical Chapel of the Madonna del Conforto and the 14th-century “Arca di San Donato” (Ark of St. Donatus), which houses the relics of Arezzo’s patron saint.

The ancient heart of the city, the Piazza was formed around 1200. Unique for its original trapezoidal shape and its particular inclination, it is characterised by a harmonious alternation of buildings from various eras, with houses with wooden galleries and crenellated towers flanking the imposing Palazzo delle Logge built in 1573 to a design by Giorgio Vasari and the monumental Palazzo di Fraternita dei Laici, characterised by one of the rarest astronomical clocks in Europe.

A masterpiece of medieval art, Cimabue’s Crucifix in the Basilica of San Domenico is one of the unmissable stops for anyone visiting Arezzo’s artistic heritage. The work, dated 1265-71, is considered the early masterpiece of Giotto’s master, with which the artist broke away from the traditional Byzantine pictorial language in favour of a greater expressionism.

Church of St. Dominic

An example of defensive military architecture built to a design by Giuliano and Antonio da Sangallo between 1538 and 1560 by order of Cosimo I de’ Medici, the Fortress stands at the highest point of the city. Its walls offer a breathtaking panorama that extends from the city to the surrounding territories, embracing the Arno valley, the Pratomagno massif and the Alpe di Catenaia.

Museums and House Museums

Arezzo’s museums and museum houses are easily accessible to all. Inside, you can admire absolute masterpieces of Renaissance art such as those in the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art. These include the Gaio Cilnio Mecenate Archaeological Museum, where objects and artefacts from the Roman and Etruscan periods are on display, the Vasari House Museum, rich in frescoes and decorations, the Ivan Bruschi House Museum dedicated to antiques, the Fraternita Museum and the Museo dell’Oro (Museum of Gold) with a splendid collection of contemporary art.

Arezzo city of art

Arezzo is a city where the historic centre retains all the characteristics of a well-preserved mediaeval village within the well-preserved city walls. The city of ancient origin tells its story through buildings, monuments and museums rich in works of art, a unique cultural and artistic heritage to explore and learn about.

Architecture and art
The churches of Arezzo are custodians of an extraordinary artistic heritage, bearing witness to the city’s importance over the centuries and offering a unique spiritual and artistic experience. A visit to these architectural wonders is a perfect way to immerse oneself in Arezzo’s rich history and culture.

From the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century
The Palaces of Power in Arezzo represent an important architectural testimony to the history and culture of the city. These magnificent buildings are or were the fulcrum of political power in Arezzo from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Admiring these palaces means immersing oneself in the rich history of Arezzo and appreciating the importance that this city has had over the centuries.

Giorgio Vasari, painter and architect

Among the illustrious figures born in Arezzo over the centuries, Giorgio Vasari has a place of absolute prominence. An appreciated and prolific painter of Mannerism, a brilliant architect, a fine collector of drawings, a biographer and the first art historian of modern age: there are many reasons why Vasari can be considered in his own right a leading figure of late Renaissance and one of the most influential intellectuals of his time.

A special day to live

A historical re-enactment set in XIV century, the Giostra del Saracino (Joust of the Saracen) takes Arezzo back to its medieval splendour. It is a knightly tournament held twice a year, in June and September, involving the four quarters into which the city and its territory are divided. Skilled horsemen challenge each other in a competition that consists of hitting a target placed on the Buratto’s shield with a lance, at the end of a fast course on horseback.

This is the oldest and largest open-air market exhibition dedicated to antiques, modern antiques and vintage goods in Italy. Founded in June 1968, the Antiques Fair takes place every first Sunday of the month and the preceding Saturday. The streets of the old town centre are animated by hundreds of exhibitors from all over Italy, who offer visitors from all over the world their heterogeneous objects in terms of date, origin and value, intended for all kinds of collectors.

Discover some offers for your stay

Some suggested routes

The territory of Arezzo and the Ponte Buriano e Penna Reserve

Cycling, walking, horse riding, canoeing or rafting: there are many ways to experience the territory around Arezzo. Amidst hills covered with olive groves and vineyards, along the banks of the Arno, here nature is truly beautiful and allows experiences that would be unthinkable elsewhere.

The masterpieces of Piero della Francesca in his homeland

Piero della Francesca is considered one of the pivotal artists of the Italian Renaissance, one of the most influential figures of his time, both as a painter and as a mathematician. Today, few works by the artist from Sansepolcro remain. The largest nucleus can be found in the city of Arezzo and the Valtiberina, whose landscapes are often depicted in the masterpieces executed by this absolute genius of art of all times.