Arezzo is a city in Tuscany not as well known as Pisa, Siena and the famous Florence.
Many cities in Tuscany enclose a lot of wonderful treasures and Arezzo is no exception.
Thanks to a couple of friends I visited Arezzo during December and I was really fascinated. It was the first weekend of the month and I could see, other than the beauty of the city, the famous antiques fair which takes place in the streets and squares every first weekend of the month.
One of the oldest cities in Tuscany, Arezzo is known for the jewelry industry, and it is for this reason that here are several jeweleries with beautiful jewels on display in the windows. A real bonanza for the ladies!
Our city tour begins at the Church of San Francesco where we admired one of the most important and famous Italian works of Piero della Francesca, considered the artist’s masterpiece. The opera “The Legend of the True Cross” is a collection of scenes depicting the legendary discovery of the wooden cross by the Empress Helena [mother of Emperor Constantine].
Another church that caught our attention is the church of Santa Maria, located in Corso Italia, the oldest among the churches of Arezzo, built around the year 1000. Even within this church lies a treasure of paintings: an altarpiece painted by Pietro Lorenzetti in 1320.
Piazza Grande, behind the church, as I said, once a month hosts the antiques market.
The square was full of people and full of antiques, especially furniture.
The beautiful square is flanked by the Palace of the Fraternità dei Laici and the famous Loggia di Vasari.
Arezzo was the family residence of the painter, historian and architect Giorgio Vasari and in town you can also visit the house where the artist lived for short periods when he was not working in Rome or in Florence.
Another “highlight” of the artifacts found in the historic buildings of Arezzo is the great Crucifix of Cimabue. It is located in the church of San Domenico, gothic building of the end of the thirteenth century.
To round off our walk in Arezzo, I had the pleasure of walking in Corso Italia and watch over the shop windows that overlook here. Here is the shopping street where you can find souvenir shops but also shops of household items and clothing; there is no danger of coming home with empty bags!
For a typical lunch in Arezzo I could suggest the Osteria dei Mercanti, recommended by the friends. It is located in the pedestrian area of the historical center, in via Ser Petraccolo, 9. Good starters with traditional sausages and the famous Tuscan crostini. The meat is the main ingredient of Tuscan cuisine and here cuts and preparations are fabulous. A special mention goes to cakes, home-made, that are really inviting.