The starting point of our journey is the Pietri Parking, one of the most comfortable accesses to the historic centre, where you can leave your car and immerse yourself in the very moment when Barbieri is assaulted by Simone.
From here, a slight climb leads us to Porta Pozzuolo, one of the gates in the city walls, and to the suggestive Piazza San Domenico, the square that for centuries has framed the monumental church of the same name. The Basilica San Domenico immediately brings to mind Father Rocco, his history and … his violent death.
Take some time to admire this beautiful view of Arezzo, a hidden corner perhaps, but for this very reason, full of charm. Inside, you will find the simplicity of a Dominican church, combined with the beauty of medieval frescoes, altars and fourteenth-century statues and, standing out above everything, the magnificent painted Crucifix made by the great Cimabue, Giotto’s master, between 1268 and 1271.
Our itinerary continues along via di Sasso Verde, up to the white marble statue representing the Grand Duke Ferdinando III Habsburg Lorraine, in front of which we turn left into via Ricasoli until we reach Piazza della Libertà. This square, together with Piazza Duomo, represent the heart of the city. On one side, the gothic Cathedral of Arezzo dedicated to Saints Peter and Donato rises majestically; on the other, the monumental Palazzo dei Priori, the fourteenth-century seat of the municipal offices, stands out with its tower. The door just at the corner of the Town Hall, seat of the I Colori della Giostra Museum, brings us back to our fiction and in particular to the robbery and shooting that took place in the bank and…Ricky’s death.
Take your time to visit these places located on the top of the hill of Arezzo, starting from the Cathedral with its magnificent stained glass windows, the beautiful fresco by Piero della Francesca depicting St. Mary Magdalene or the glazed terracottas by Andrea della Robbia and the monumental paintings by Pietro Benvenuti in the Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation. If you wish to savour the true spirit of Arezzo, do not miss the Museum dedicated to the Giostra del Saracino, the most important historical re-enactment of the city.
We then continue towards Corso Italia, the most important street in the historic centre, until we reach Piazza Grande, the other beating heart of Arezzo: square of the Antiques Fair, of the Giostra del Saracino and of all the most emotional and popular events of the city. Listed among the most beautiful squares in Italy, Piazza Grande with the magnificent Loggias by Vasari, the tower-houses Cofani and Lappoli, the apse of the Pieve di Santa Maria, the medieval well and the enchanting facade of the Palazzo di Fraternita with the its astronomical clock dating back to the 1500s, is a truly magical place, where styles from all times merge to create a unique atmosphere.
It is no coincidence that Piazza Grande was chosen for the fiction, as the setting for the Arezzo Police Station, whose entrance is represented by the majestic door with elegant staircase of the Palazzo di Fraternita.
We leave the square along via di Seteria, an ancient and narrow medieval street, whose name reminds us of the vocation of the ancient shops that sold fine fabrics, like silk (“seta” in italian) here. On the left we meet a diner called Il Cantuccio in the fiction, where at the end of the day, Fosca indulges in a glass of Chianti with her best friend Cosimo.
We leave the square along via di Seteria, an ancient and narrow medieval street, whose name reminds us of the vocation of the ancient shops that sold fine fabrics, like silk (“seta” in italian) here. On the left we meet Cosimo’s wine bar, where at the end of the day, Fosca indulges in a glass of Chianti with her best friend Cosimo.
At the end of the street, we are in Corso Italia again. If you have some time, before turning left, I recommend you to visit the Pieve di Santa Maria, the oldest church in town, whose facade alone is already an unmissable work of art. Documented as early as 1008, then rebuilt in Romanesque style during the 12th century, it is decorated with elegant columns all different from one another, and a medieval Cycle of the Months perfectly preserved. Impressive is the massive bell tower, the so-called Hundred-hole Tower, which with its bulk contributes to the stability of the entire building. Inside, the architecture is majestic with the typical structure of Romanesque churches, where the ancient altar is raised and, below, is the crypt.
We go down along Corso Italia to the intersection with via Cavour. Here we turn right and we reach Piazza San Francesco and its beautiful Gothic church, the Basilica San Francesco, which has become famous because inside it is possible to admire Piero della Francesca’s masterpiece, the pictorial cycle The Legend of the True Cross which decorates the whole main chapel, the so-called Bacci Chapel. In front of it we find the Caffè dei Costanti, historic café in Arezzo as well as the seat of the Academy of the same name for the nobles and upper-middle class between 1804 and 1872, the Gran Café in the fiction.
At the end of the square, along via Guido Monaco, we find the Petrarca Theatre, a nineteenth-century jewel and a source of pride for the city of Arezzo, where Fosca and Marcello, on leaving the theatre … kiss each other.
This itinerary through the places of the Fosca Innocenti fiction will transport you to an unprecedented Arezzo, where ancient and current chase each other and blend together.
Let yourself be carried away by your sensations and enjoy the journey.
Lasciatevi trasportare dalle vostre sensazioni e godetevi il viaggio.
Credites: Banijay Studios Italy, photo by Cristina di Paolo Antonio