Castelsecco, a walk through history – A trek through the Tuscan hills to discover the Etruscan roots of Arezzo

There are some trails that are well worth taking. If you take this one, you can disconnect from the frenzy of your everyday routine and work life and immerse yourself in an almost ‘supernatural’ silence along paths that are mysterious and unexpected.

The trail that leads to Castelsecco is one that takes you straight to the heart of Etruscan Arezzo. Each step you take up this hill outside of Arezzo leads towards the forests of Castelsecco and away from the noise and confusion of the city. As you go, you’ll take a journey through history. When you get to the top, you’ll see the breathtaking views that look out over the whole Arezzo area and explore one of the most ancient sites, still shrouded in mystery. At this site, there is an old Etruscan temple that gives some insight into the origins of Arezzo because this was a place used to celebrate life. The Cyclopean Wall is located here. This fortification made of rock stands more than 10 meters high and looks like a giant shell leaning on a hill. The wall supports a section of what is left of the ancient theater above. Along the entire path to Castelsecco, you’ll be fascinated by this one-of-a-kind archaeological site that is the most important Etruscan sanctuary in the whole valley. 

  • Itinerary: Historic – Landscapes
  • Trail Length: 8 Km
  • Average walking time: varies
  • Trail Characteristics: grassy, gravel, asphalt
  • Elevation: 425 mt
  • Type: for excursions, jogging, mountain-biking

You can begin the trek towards the Etruscan era at the Municipal Stadium, located on Viale Gramsci street. From the stadium, take the asphalt road that wraps around it to the right and at the second road you see, take a right. You’ll quickly begin to climb on this road and will pass some houses. After about 500 meters, the asphalt road becomes a gravel road and is marked as the CAI 459 trail. This trail winds uphill for another 30-45 minutes through olive groves with beautiful panoramic views of Arezzo until you reach the top, the Sanctuary of Castelsecco. This sanctuary is engulfed in a palpable mysticism with traces of a not-so-distant era. Take time to look around, to touch the stone walls and take in the remains of this civilization that once flourished in that area. 

Once you’ve given yourself plenty of time to explore this sacred place, you can return using the same trail or another one that is a bit longer. Go down the hill along the gravel path that begins near the small bar inside the entrance to the archaeological area. After about 100 meters, turn left on the CAI 459 trail. When you come to the first crossroads, turn right and you’ll begin to go downhill, once again winding your way through olive groves. Be careful when you get to the next crossroads because if you go straight, you head back up the hill towards the archaeological area. Keep to the left and you’ll come to the dirt road again. Turn left and, almost immediately, take another left onto Via di Castelsecco street. The first part of this street is gravel but eventually it turns into an asphalt road again. Keep to the left until you come to the first fork in the road and then go right. This will take you back towards the road that goes around the Municipal Stadium. At this point you leave ancient history behind you and come back to the present time.  

You can also reach the archaeological area of Castelsecco by car. Take the provincial road that leads from Arezzo towards the towns of Palazzo del Pero and Anghiari. Turn on the asphalt road called Via delle Pietre street. This route can also be done on mountain bike and when you come back down the hill from the archaeological area, you can either go back to Arezzo along the same road or go down the dirt road that you find on the side of the bar that acts as the entrance to the archaeological site. As you go down the hill, continue straight ahead and you’ll pass Villa San Cornelio on your left. Continue straight until you reach the town of Matrignano and just after you pass this town, you’ll come to Via Anconetana street. Take a left on this street to get back to Arezzo. 

 

  • Comfortable clothing
  • Clothes that can get dirty
  • Hiking shoes
  • A polaroid for the perfect sunset shot
  • The explorer in you

 

  • For nature lovers
  • For those who love history
  • For those who are curious
  • For those who like to walk
  • For MTB and hiking lovers
  • For those who love to discover new things
  • For those who love genuine experiences
  • For families with small children to experience things just at the right pace
  • For those who love woods
  • For those who can’t resist the charm of the Etruscans
  • For those who love breathtaking landscapes
Castelsecco, a walk through history – A trek through the Tuscan hills to discover the Etruscan roots of Arezzo