Arezzo and its surroundings



The history of Arezzo spans from the Etruscan times, through the Romans until the Middle Ages when it reaches the maximum of its spendour. The jouster of Saracino , held in June and September , is the perfect memory of the medieval times. Famous artists lived and worked in Arezzo, Petrarca, Piero della Francesca, Vasari, Pietro Aretino, Guido Monaco   as well as Cimabue,Beato Angelico, Rossellino, Della Robbia e Marcillat who left important works that are still present in the city and attract many tourists. Walking in the historical centre of Arezzo, in its narrow streets, ingoing to Piazza Grande and looking at its famous buildings, is like travelling back into time.  Arezzo is situated in a strategic position, at the centre of the main routes between the North and the South, the West and the East. Florence, Siena, Perugia are reachable in an hour. In additition to the best known art cities, there is a large number of small townsin the area, rich in art and remains of the Etruscan and roman periods. Towns like Cortona, Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, Anghiari , Poppi etc. are worth to be visited. This part of Italy, anyway, is famous not only for its art treasure, but also for the food production that is specific of this region. The Chianti wine, the olive oil, the chestnuts, the pecorino cheese, the ham and many other typical products of the country are famous all over the world. Arezzo is also connected with the fashion world through brands like Prada, Gucci, Miu Miu, Tacs, Uno A Erre. Outlets of these brands and many others can be found nearby-




One of the best preserved medieval towns is Anghiari, near the Tiber river and overlooking the valley where the famous Anghiari battle took place,painted by Leonardo in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. The town is surrounded by massive walls from the XIV century and encloses several important buildings, churches and a museum, hosted in Palazzo Taglieschi. Every year, at the end of April a famous arts and crafts festival takes place in the old part where many shops open to sell the typical manufactures of the area.




s2_0008_Livello 1Sansepolcro is the birthplace of Piero della Francesca and looking at this town you can still see the same architecture that he represented in his paintings. Some of his works , like the Resurrection, are kept in the Museo Civico. The Cathedral has the Holy Face, a wooden cross dating back to the VII, VIII century. Other important places to visit are Palazzo delle Laudi, which is now the Town Hall, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Church of San Francesco and the church of San Lorenzo with a Deposition by Rosso Fiorentino. On the second Sunday in September the main square, Piazza della Berta, hosts the traditional Palio della Balestra, a medieval game where all the participants wear clothes inspired by the paintings of   Piero della Francesca .


Castiglion Fiorentino

s2_0006_Livello 3Castiglion Fiorentino is still surrounded by its medieval walls and is dominated by the old fort called Cassero. In the museum there are many paintings by Margaritone,Taddeo Gaddi, Bartolomeo della Gatta e Giorgio Vasari.

The position of the town offers a beautiful view on the surrounding valleys.

Culture, sport, music and gastronomy are the protagonists of many events that take place in the so called Maggio (May) Castiglionese. On the third Sunday in June a horse race takes place outside the walls.




cortonaCortona is certainly the pearl of the valley, its high position gives the visitors a wide view from lake Trasimeno to the southern mountains of Tuscany.

The Medieval atmosphere comes from its buildings and its typical streets full of craft shops. The most important sights are the Basilica of Santa Margherita, the Franciscan monastery of Le Celle, both situated in the highest part of the city. The Etruscan Museum, The City Hall, the Cathedral with the close museum (where some of Luca Signorelli’s and Beato Angelico’s paintings can be admired), are in the city centre. Two Etruscan tombs and a Hypogeous are situated at the bottom of the hill. One of the most important events for the city is the antique fair that takes place in a prestigious building of the historical centre from the last Sunday in August until the second Sunday of September. When driving in the direction of Foiano della Chiana you will meet the beautiful abbey of Santa Maria in Farneta which is one of the best expressions of the Romanesque style in the area of Arezzo.

Foiano della Chiana

s2_0007_Livello 2Foiano della Chiana is a city that dates back to the Etruscan and Roman times. It is situated at the centre of the valley and its historical centre, which is mainly in the renaissance style, is delimited by two city walls. The most important places are the church of SS.Trinita’ with a work by Pomarancio and   the church of Santa Maria della Fraternita, which dates back to the XV century, and has a work by della Robbia. Outside the walls the Collegiata di San Martino is worth a visit for a work by Signorelli and a terracotta by della Robbia.

Then driving in direction of Pozzo della Chiana in an isolated place is situated the Temple of Santo Stefano della Vittoria, which was erected in the XVI century to celebrate the victory on Siena. In February and March Foiano is theatre of a famous Carnival.



Monte San Savino

s2_0005_Livello 4E’ uno dei centri più interessanti della Toscana per l’originale impianto castellano a pianta ellittica, racchiuso da mura con torri. Il borgo antico presenta, perfettamente conservati, il Palazzo Comunale, di origini duecentesche.

All’interno si trova un piccolo museo con dipinti di scuola senese e aretina oltre a una preziosa testimonianza dell’oreficeria tardogotica come il famoso “albero” reliquiario di Lucignano. Notevoli sono anche gli edifici religiosi quali la Collegiata e la Chiesa di San Francesco ornata di affreschi dei pittori senesi Bartolo di Fredi e Taddeo di Bartolo.

Di grande suggestione è quello situato sopra il primo altare nella navata destra, conosciuto come “Il Trionfo della Morte”, in cui, in modo efficace è rappresentata la precarietà della vicenda umana. La fantasia e l’estro dei suoi abitanti si manifestano in primavera, in occasione della Maggiolata Lucignanese dove i suoni e i colori dei fiori fanno rivivere una tradizione ricca di storia e di musica.


lucignanoLucignano is very interesting for its castlelike plan, surrounded by walls with watchtowers. The most important building is the Town Hall, which dates back to the XIII century and has a museum with important paintings of artists from Arezzo and Siena.

The museum also keeps some examples of gold artworks and in particular the Lucignano reliquiary in the shape of a tree in Gothic style.

Some religious buildings, such as la Collegiata and the church of San Francesco have important paintings, among which the one called The Triumph of Death. In spring there is a famous event called Maggiolata Lucignanese where flowers and music are the protagonists.


Una grande area a ridosso dell’appennino tosco-romagnolo, comprendente boschi e foreste tra i più estesi e meglio conservati d’Italia, le Foreste Casentinesi, custodi di un elevato patrimonio floristico e di una fauna di grande interesse che annota il lupo e l’aquila reale tra i grandi predatori e diverse specie di ungulati. Questi suggestivi ambienti naturali fanno da cornice ai segni di millenaria presenza dell’uomo: borghi, mulattiere e soprattutto due santuari di assoluto fascino come Camaldoli e La Verna.


s2_0003_Pieve_di_romenaIts architecture is the expression of its history. A history made of faith, witnessed by the presence of two important monasteries and of power , as expressed by the Castle of Romena belonged to the Conti Guidi and mentioned by Dante in the Inferno.

The Pieve di San Pietro a Romena is close to the town and it is an important and clear example of the Romanesque style. Pratovecchio is the birthplace of Paolo Uccello, who mastered the perspective. The culture and art of wood is presented every two years in the event called “Forme di legno” (wood shapes)




s2_0002_Livello 6Stia is a typical town situated in the heart of the Casentino valley and it is crossed by the Arno. The life of the town is concentrated around the main square, Piazza Tanucci, flanked by porches. Some medieval remains are in the old building belonged to the Conti Guidi, which is now the seat of an interesting collection of modern art. Other important sights to visit are the Romanesque church of santa Maria Assunta and the Baptistery Chapel. Castel Porciano with its tower dominates the town and the close by Santuario delle Grazie is surrounded by the magnificent   forest for which Casentino is famous. The most important event is the ironwork festival which takes place every other year with participants from all over Italy and abroad.


San Giovanni Valdarno

San giovanni valdarno is the most important toiwn in the Arno valley, situated between arezzo and Florence. It’s Masaccio’s birthplace , the famous Renaissance painter. His house, that is in the main street Corso Italia, is open to visitors on special occasions. The most important buildings are situated in the central square, Piazza Masaccio, with the Palazzo Pretorio, the church of santa maria delle Grazie, the Museum with a rich collection of paintings, including a beautiful Annonciation by Beato Angelico and the church of san Lorenzo dating from the XIV century whose walls were painted by Masaccio’0s youngest brother. Another important example of the renaissance period is Pieve di San Giovanni Battista in Piazza Cavour. Every year there is an important film festival in the month of April.


It is a lively commercial centre and it has also typical medieval buildings for example in the main square, Piazza Varchi. In the church, Collegiata di San Lorenzo, there is an important work by Andrea della Robbia. Every month, on the fort Sunday (with the exception of July and August) , an antique fair is held in Via dei Musei.