- The third largest city Tuscany, Arezzo has a population of about 100,000.
- The city was one of the central locations in the film “Life is Beautiful” (La vita è bella).
- Birthplace of the poet Francesco Petrarca and famous architect Giorgio Vasari.
- Currency: Euro (EUR).
- Spoken languages: Italian.
- Best time to visit: June and July (warm weather). November is also a good time, as you will avoid the rainy season.
- Getting there: Arezzo can be reached via the main airports in Tuscany: Pisa International Airport Galileo Galilei or Florence Airport (formerly Amerigo Vespucci). It can also be reached by flying to Rome or Milan and then getting a train to the city.
WHERE TO STAY
B&B Antiche Mura (Piaggia di Murello) is a great budget option. The area around the Basilica di San Francesco is a good place to find accommodation (though on the pricier side).
- The old town of Arezzo is small enough to be explored on foot. A word of warning: the city is atop a steep incline and you will often feel like you are walking uphill. Make sure you are wearing comfortable walking shoes.
- Arezzo’s bus services are provided by ATAM, and are based in Via Setteponti. There is also a Centro Storico for transportation around the historical old town. You can catch a bus to visit other parts of Tuscany from the main traffic circle in the town centre around the Piazza Guido Monaco. Purchase tickets for most destinations at the Tabacchi, on the northwest “slice” of the circle.
- Drinking age is 16.
- While Arezzo isn’t known for its night life, you can head over to the Piazza Grande for bars and nightclubs.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- The Piazza Grande is the most notable square in the city. The square contains the Palace of the Lay Fraternity and the Episcopal Palace and has a German feel to it.
- The Duomo – visit to see Piero della Francesca’s simple yet eye-catching fresco of Mary Magdalene (and other artworks).
- The Roman amphitheater is tricky to find, but worth a visit.
- The Basilica di San Francesco’s Bacci Chapel houses the fresco cycle the Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca. The chapel, decorated by Piero between 1453 and 1466 for the wealthy Bacci family, can be entered separately from the main church.
- Take a stroll around the historical old town, which is small enough to navigate by foot.
- Arezzo hosts numerous festivals – notable ones include the Saracen Joust and the PLAY Arezzo Art Festival.
- Tuscan people are typically friendly, welcome, humorous and straightforward in their approach. They are proud of their cultural history and culinary traditions.
- Visit the Caffe dei Constanti (opposite San Francesco church) and pick up a coffee and pastries. The cafe is also the best place in town for an aperitivo (from 6pm).
- Where to find good cheap eats: look for cafes and restaurants along Corso Italia.
- Dangerous areas: Arezzo is a relatively safe city. Exercise caution at night, particularly in the outer districts of the city.
The Best Arezzo Guide Books:
- Lonely Planet Italy (covers the whole country)
- Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy: Secrets To Glamorous Travel (On A Not So Glamorous Budget)
Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days