HOW TO SPEND A DAY IN AREZZO, TUSCANY
Arezzo is a small city and capital of the province with the same name, It’s located in the Eastern part of Tuscany. and t to the South East of Florence. The city has a population of around 99,000. In the ancient times, Arezzo was settled by the Etruscan people and there is evidence by means of archaeological findings that there has been human inhabitants as far back as the fourth century.
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Where is Arezzo Located
Arezzo is perfectly located to visit with its central location and is close to many of Italy’s well known cities such as Florence, Pisa and Perugia.
Arezzo is a romantic city with a great deal of history invested it its roots with incredible buildings, such as the Duomo San Donato and the Teatro Petrarca. The city is full of some interesting churches, piazzas, restaurants, cafes, museums and public parks. It not only makes for a lovely day trip from one of the neighbouring cities but if you love to travel at a slower pace, there are some lovely little boutique hotels and guest houses to stay in and experience a true slice of Arezzo life!
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How to Get to Arezzo
- Unless you’ve hired a car and are touring the Tuscan countryside, the train from neighbouring cities such as Florence, Pisa or even Perugia is a great way to arrive in Arezzo. Check Trenitalia for up to date times and journey fares. The trains in Italy are usually well priced and very reliable. Try and book online for better rates.
- Florence: Direct train from Santa Maria Novella station to Arezzo Terminal station. Fare: €7 each way. Time 40 mins
- Pisa: Direct Train from Pisa Centrale station to Arezzo Terminal Station. Fare: €8. Time 1h 40 mins
- Perugia: Direst Train from Perugia Railway Station to Arezzo Terminal Station . Fare: €4. Time 60 mins.
- The closest Airports are Pisa and Florence. Tou can either choose to take a train from either of these, taxi or hire a hire, which woudl give you the most flexibility.
- Car hire is another option from the airports via Europcar who are reasonable priced and have a great range of vehicles available. Driving time can take a little longer but teh roads are generally really good in Italy and parking is available in Arezzo which can be paid on a daily basis.
When is the Best Time to Visit Arezzo
As with many Italian towns and with the popularity of Tuscany as a tourist destination, Summer is always crowded. Great times of teh year when most places will still be open and. a lot quieter, plus the weather will be mild and not to sticky is within shoulder season. April-May and September-October are ideal months to visit. You’ll also find that accommodation options are reasonably priced and that you’ll be able to experience everyday life in the city more authentically.
How Long to Stay in Arezzo
Arezzo makes the perfect day trip as mentioned previously but also is great for a night or two away if you have some spare time when visiting Tuscany and want to stay away from some of the more busier Tuscan towns.
The Best Things to do in Arezzo
If you walk up the hill straight from the train station (should take around 10-15 minutes) then you’ll arrive at the top of the city (aim for the Duomo of Arezzo) and the best way to see it is simply to just make your way down the hill stopping off at points of interest.
Duomo of Arezzo
The Cathedral or Duomo of Arezzo had building work started in the 1300’s but was said not to be finished until the mid-1500s. It is believed to have been built on top of the first Christian church in Arezzo. If you arrive early around 09:00 am you will get a good chance to see it in all its glory before the area starts to fill up for business.
Location: Via Ricasoli, Arezzo
The Medicea Park
Just behind the duomo is Arezzo’s largest open space and park, which is French styled and has panoramic views of the Casentino Valley, surrounding vineyards, olive groves, and the rest of Arezzo.
Location: Via B Buozzi. 52100. Arezzo
The Medicea Fortress
The fortress was built at the top of the hill on the existing site to reinforce the Florentine dominance in the city. The stone used to build the fortress came from the Roman amphitheatre at the base of the city. Walk along the walls of the fortress for sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside, Arezzo city and a very unique cemetery.
Location: Via B Buozzi. 52100. Arezzo
The main square in Arezzo is adorned with Loggia on the left-hand side, designed by Vasari, once the stores and shops that lined the square. However, these are now small quaint antique stores and cafes, which spill out onto the square on warm days. Admire the Vasarian style of houses on the square and if you time your visit correctly, there is a monthly antique fair here.
Location: Piazza Grande. 52100. Arezzo
Palazzo della Fraternita del Lalci
On the corner of Piazza Grande, climb the clock tower at the Palazzo to get the best views of Arezzo in town! The climb is not long or steep, just up a couple of levels and you’ll be on the rooftop with beautiful terracotta rooftops surrounding you. Additionally, you can snatch a view of the clock and the bell tower not to mention a fantastic panorama of the Piazza Grande.
During our visit there was a fashion show through the times exhibition in the lower palace. This changes seasonally so your five Euro entry is worth a mooch around the rest of the building too as well as the clock tower.
Location: Via Giorgio Vasari, 6. 52100. Arezzo
Pieve di Arezzo
The Parish Church of St. Mary, known as the Pieve, is the Arezzo’s oldest surviving church and its most important example of a Romanesque building. You can see the back end of it from Piazza Grande.
Location: Corsa Italia. 52100. Arezzo
Roman Amphitheatre & National Archaeological Museum
If you’re a fan of archaeology and artefacts then this museum is a must for you! The archaeological museum occupies the 14th-century former Monastery of St. Bernard, built over the remains of a second-century AD Roman amphitheater. Highlighting its more than 20 galleries is an extraordinary collection of sealed Arezzo ware, a form of pottery dating to Roman times and discovered during excavations. Also outstanding is the jewellery recovered from the nearby Poggio del Sole Etruscan necropolis. It’s quite an impressive collection.
The Amphitheatre, which was built in the time of Emperor Hadrian can be accessed via the museum but be sure to ask the staff to unlock the door for you.
Location: Via Girgio Vasari, 6. 52100. Arezzo
Basilica Di San Francesco
In the centre of Arezzo, the Basilica of San Francesco, building began in 1290, but various rebuilding’s and extensions continued to the 20th century. The church stands out for its celebrated frescoes, brought to light again in the early 20th century. A must see for Renaissance art lovers like myself.
Location: Piazza San Francesca. Arezzo
A church dating back to 1275, San Domenico lies on the Northern side of Arezzo and is home to some beautiful 14th and 15th century frescos, which are in surprisingly great condition.
Location: Piazza S. Domenico. 52100. Arezzo
Walk The Medieval Streets
The best way to get a feel for Arezzo is to walk the steep and winding streets and stumble upon unexpected local scenes, churches and medieval artefacts. Surprise yourself with what this small city has to offer.
Arezzo is known in Tuscany for its array of antique shops so whether you enjoy a spot of window shopping or are intent on making a timeless purchase, this is most definitely the place! You’ll find an array of shops lining the streets of Arezzo that specialise in Antiques but they’re not opne on Sundays or Public Holidays so do check up to avoid disappointment.
Where to Stay in Arezzo
Although Arezzo is a small city, it has some great boutique hotels and guest houses with some really magnificent views and also pretty centrally located.
Search for your Ideal Arezzo Hotel Below:
A few Hotel Recommendations
A luxury hotel located only 250 yards from Arezzo railway Station and a 5 minute walk from the Basilica of San Francesco, this is the perfect spot to use as a special getaway or celebratory break.
There’s a stunning furnished rooftop terrace overlooking the historic centre of Arezzo. All rooms and suites have been refurbished to a very high standard and room rates include a large buffet breakfast.
This is a great hotel for couples looking for romantic getaways in particular.
Rates: €80 per night (low season. €300 per night (high season)
Location: Piazza Guido Monaco, 7, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy. Tel. +39 0575 20251
Etrusco Arezzo Hotel; Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western
For sustainability concerned travellers, this is the hotel for you. The rooms at Etrusco Arezzo are pretty spacious, modern and the historic centre of Arezzo is only a mile away. Room rates here also include a breakfast buffet, featuring homemade pastries, freshly squeezed orange juices, but also savoury products and fresh vegetables. Restaurant Le Anfore offers a buffet of Tuscan specialities for dinner.
Rates: €70-80 per night
Location: Via Alessandro Fleming, 39, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy. Tel. +39 0575 984066
Situated within 200 metres of Piazza Grande in Arezzo, Pescioni 19 features accommodation with free WiFi and flat-screen TV. This is a great place to stay if you prefer the flexibility of cooking and doing things at your own pace. The apartment is modern and
All units comprise a seating area with a sofa, a dining area, and a fully equipped kitchenette with various cooking facilities, including a dishwasher, a microwave, a fridge and an oven. A stovetop and toaster are also available, as well as a coffee machine.
Rates: €84 per night.
Location: 19 Via Pescioni, 52100 Arezzo, Italy.
Food & Wine Specialities to Try in Arezzo
Typical of Tuscany, the dishes taht are commonly eaten in Arezzo are made of fresh, natural and locally sourced foods such as pasta and meat and accompanied with legumes and vegetables with lashings of olive oil. The three favourite dishes in Arezzo are based around the below:
- Pappardelle all’aretina:: A thin hare sauce
- Zuppa di Cavolo:A cabbage soup
- Pappa al Pomodoro: A type of tomato soup
Especially more common meat dishes, which may be served include:
- Fagiano Tartufato: Truffled pheasant
- Scottigilia: Stewed meat, lamb roasted on the spit or
- Porchetta: Roast suckling pig.
As well as meat dishes, the region serves a whole host of vegetarian dishes too but meat is a big part of the food here.
Tuscan but more commonly Arezzo food food will always be swerved with a full-bodied Chianti from the Aretini Hills or Bianco Vergine from Valdichiana accompany the meal.
Wines which come from the Arezzo area include
- Rosso Toscano, which has a clean crisp aroma and rich, ruby red colour
- Bianco Toscano, a light straw color wine with a fresh, vivacious taste.
- Terre Toscane Sangiovese di Toscano, made from 100% Sangiovese grapes that are hand picked and sorted.
- Barone Albergotti-Rosso di Toscana: produced by the Albergotti family, an aristocratic Aretina family of rulers.
Where to Eat & Drink in Arezzo
You’ll be sure to find a great array of eateries, cafes and bars in Arezzo, especially situated around teh main Piazza Grande. Here are two great recommendations which have a long history as well as being very popular with the locals and tourists for authentic food, locally sourced and cooked in the traditional Tuscany styles.
Il Caffe dei Costanti
This café was founded in 1804 as a place reserved for the most important aristocratic families. Post-unification of Italy, it became somewhat a lively place open to all and to this day is a fab little café serving delicious biscuits and pastries as well as a good aperitivo spot!
Location: Piazza San Francesco 19/20. 52100. Areezo. Tel. +39 0575 182 4075 . Website
Logge Vasari Antica Trattoria
The Logge Vasari Antica Trattoria is an Arezzo institution, set inside the former customs house, under the arches of Vasari’s beautiful loggia. The elegant space and service make for a memorable meal. Whether you choose one of the tasting menus or the a la carte options, the chef prepares traditional regional plates also.
If you’re lucky enough to have the weather on your side and grab a fab seat overlooking the Piazza Grande and tucked into some simple pasta, red wine and coffee of course.
Location: Piazza Grande 19. Arezzo. Tel +39 0575 295894. Website
What Experiences Can You do in and Around Arezzo
Being centrally located, there are a few days trips that can be accessed via Arezzo if you wish to base yourself here for your stay in Tuscany. The city has many foodie and wine tour experiences in local homes and wineries. It’s a great way to spend a day getting to know the local way of life.
- Share your Pasta Love: Small group Pasta and Tiramisu class in Arezzo
- Cooking class in Cortona
- Pivate Tour: “Sweet Hills of Chianti and San Gimignano” with Lunch & 2 Tastings
- Brunello and Montepulciano Wine Tour from Cortona
- Wine Tasting and Tour in an Organic Winery
- 4-Days Italian Cooking and Truffle Tours
- Arezzo Private Walking Tour
Be-lavie’s Top Tips
- Sunday is a great day to visit Arezzo as it’s a little quieter and there is more of a local presence.
- Try and arrive early if you fancy visiting more museums and the fortress so you get some time to walk and feel the area before the crowds set in.
- If you plan to eat at Logge Vasari Antica Trattoria, make a reservation beforehand to guarantee a table as it can get very busy with locals too.
- If you visit the Medicea Fortress, try and opt to buy a combined ticket (10 Euros per person), which includes access to three further attractions. We visited San Domenico church as well as a Contemporary arts gallery (Galleria Comunale d’Arte Contemoranea). Arezzo is quite small so you’ll easily get a chance to visit all of the places that would like so make the most of it.
- Pre purchase your train ticket online with Trenitalia. Arezzo is only an hour and 10 minutes on the train from Florence and is quite scenic journey and trains are generally every hour.
Related Reading: More Tuscan Towns to Visit
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