FAI Days are back! This time with a special edition that will allow you to safely enjoy the country’s extraordinary heritage of art and nature. In order for the visit to these extraordinary places to continue to be a joyful, serene experience during this special edition of the FAI Days, we’ve chosen some outdoor places that allow you to maintain social distancing. The visit can only be arranged by booking an online reservation, starting from June 23rd. The Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie has been selected as the place in Arezzo for the "Outdoor FAI Days” that will take place on Saturday, June 27th and Sunday, June 28th.

Saturday: 16:00 – 18:00. Two rounds, one beginning at 16, and one at 17;  maximum of 15 people per round.

Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00. Two rounds in the morning, at 10:00 and at 12:00, in the afternoon at 15:00 and at 17:00; maximum of 15 people per round.

Please note: In the event of higher than expected turnout, entrances may be suspended before the indicated closing time.

Reservations will be open until sold out and no later than 15:00 on Friday, June 26th.

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie boasts a particular history that is strongly linked to its miraculous waters. The Tecta Spring had started nearby at the Medici walls. It then headed southbound towards the end of the present-day Viale Mecenate road. The waters of this spring have been venerated since prehistoric times. With the advent of Christianity and after the demolition of the spring, San Bernardino da Siena built an oratory that later became the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie. At that point, the trick was discovered: the benefits received from the miraculous waters were replaced by those “granted” by Our Lady.

Over the years, in addition to the Sanctuary, a large monastery was added. The esplanade in front of the spring was surrounded by a high stone wall and today you can access it through the ancient Burgi gate. Following the style of the original facade of the church, a splendid Renaissance loggia was designed and built by Benedetto da Maiano. This represents one of the highest architectural expressions still present in Arezzo. On the long side there are seven arches with seven medallions on a stepped base. The proportions have been studied perfectly, with the height of the slender column and the pulvinus equal to the light of the arches. In 1444, the church was completed thanks to a project by Domenico del Fattore, who built the building in Gothic style with a single nave, with cross vaults and a shallow apse.

The presentation with explanations about the history, the architecture and the precious artistic works will be given by FAI volunteers.