Arezzo Travel Guide - Tuscany, Italy

Arezzo is a small gem of Tuscany, offers intoxicating atmosphere, a sincere together with the fabulous nature and routes green. For those who have never finished with Florence and want to explore it all. Arezzo is one of the wealthiest cities in Tuscany. It is located in beautiful Tuscany and it sits atop a hill at the crossroads of four valleys: its ancient origins and its beautiful surroundings makes it a perfect city to enjoy and walk.
A moment of the Giostra del Sarcino in Arezzo, photo by Arnie-54 via Flickr
A moment of the Giostra del Sarcino in Arezzo, photo by Arnie-54 via Flickr

1. Best things to do in Arezzo

Its historic heart is first of all hard to be read because where you would normally expect the town centre to be lies a municipal park with the ruins of Medici fortress and the countryside stretching away below and beyond.

Its Medieval center with lots of monuments, churches and museums offer visitors a chance to step back into history. The Church of San Francesco is probably the most famous in Arezzo, with the incredible frescos by Piero della Francesca Cross. Let’s also visit the Cathedral dedicated to San Donato, then back down to the Roman Amphitheater and the Church of San Domenico.

Twice a year, however, Arezzo is colored with the Giostra del Saracino. The second Saturday of June (Joust of San Donato) at night and the first Sunday of September (Giostra of September) during the day. The old competition takes place in medieval costumes and requires the knights of the four city districts to hit the shield of the "tumbler" with a spear, without being hit themselves by the puppet of the Saracen.

The beautiful Basilica of San Francesco, in the center of the city, is worth a visit.

Best advice if you arrive by train is to avoid the direct route into the centre and head instead to the right through Piazza Risorgimento. Corso Italia is the long axis along which the city's 13th-century expansion unfolded. Today it's full of boutiques, bars and shops (Arezzo's antiquarian offerings are not limited to the monthly Fiera Antiquaria in Piazza Grande).

Corso Italia is not only a track to Arezzo's main sights; it also combines proud and prosperous town's modern working periphery and its medieval and Renaissance heart.

Piazza grande in Arezzo, Tuscany.
Piazza grande in Arezzo, Tuscany, ph. by Anguskirk, via flickr

2. Casentino forests and surroundings

Arezzo are tipically Tuscan, so do not forget the provincial Nature Reserve of Arezzo, which protects a portion of the Apennine range known as the Alpe della Luna.

A long ridge that forms the watershed between the upper valley of the Tiber, in the Tyrrhenian side, and that of the river Marecchia, on the Adriatic side.

Here the land is mostly wooded with beech forests and mixed forests. There is a large number of open air turf, dotted with tiny historian settlements as Monterano and Montelabreve and spot buildings in rural areas: an echo that remembers the past when the Alpe moon was inhabited and lived.

Today from clearings of Monterano, the view flies on Badia Tedalda and Valmarecchia, Mount Botolino to the shapes of the Sasso Simone and the Simoncello.

Acquacotta, specialty Arezzo. Photo by Giorgio Minguzzi via Flickr
Acquacotta, specialty Arezzo. Photo by Giorgio Minguzzi via Flickr

3. Tastes and local foods

Arezzo is a spectacle of majestic hills, vineyards and vegetable gardens.

The distant sea has encouraged a cuisine based on pasta, meat, cheese and vegetables but also good wine. The best dishes of the Italian poor cooking are: crostini with chicken livers and sliced Casentino.

Try the excellent acquacotta (bread, eggs, cheese and mushrooms) and pappardelle with hare sauce or ocio (with goose or chicken). Among the main dishes gnocchi stand out, with their ricotta and spinach. You cannot forget the Chianina beef, the end pieces of veal flavored with spices and Florentine cheese. The typical cake of Arezzo is called Arezzo Gattò, it is a stub of sponge cake soaked with chocolate and alchermes (such as Emilia chocolate salami).

Acquacheta Waterfalls
Acquacheta Waterfalls

4. Nature, sport and green itineraries

The Casentino National Park is an essential step for a slow travel. The location is very mountainous and you can admire the fauna of all respect: the wolf deer, from the roe deer, wild boar up.

Many waters, clear streams that later flow wildly in Arno. Many small and large waterfalls, including the most popular of Acquacheta.

Casentino Lanscapes, Tuscany
Casentino Lanscapes, Tuscany, ph. by Jonas Smith, via flickr

5. Where to stay in the city and surrounding

Discover all ecofriendly accommodations in the province of Arezzo, between the ecological B&B dissipated in sparkling downtown to organic farms collected in prosperous beech forests of Casentino.

Discover all eco-friendly accommodations in Arezzo

Author: Angela Sebastianelli

Cover photo: Arezzo, Piazza Grande. Photo by Beate Meierphoto via Flickr

Eco-friendly accommodations

Casa Cares

Reggello (Toscana)

Starting from 78,00 €
Agriturismo La Casina

Caprese Michelangelo (Toscana)

Starting from 60,00 €
Bio Agriturismo Reggioli

Gaiole in Chianti (Tuscany)

Starting from 78,00 €
B&b Il Collesu

Civitella in Val di Chiana (Tuscany)

Starting from 100,00 €
La Conca

Sansepolcro (Toscana)

Starting from 80,00 €
Agriturismo Il Capoverso

Monte San Savino (Toscana)

Starting from 70,00 €
Albergo Diffuso Borgo dei Corsi

Raggiolo (Toscana)

Starting from 59,00 €
Agriturismo a Cortona, in Toscana

Cortona (Tuscany)

Starting from 75,00 €
appartamento rustico e equitazione

Castel Focognano (6720686)

Starting from 60,00 €
Podere di Pomaio • Green Winery

Arezzo (Tuscany)

Starting from 600,00 €
Convento di Novole

Cortona (Tuscany)

Starting from 75,00 €
B&B Il Fortino

Faltona (Toscana)

Starting from 50,00 €
Il Giardino Nascosto

Anghiari (Toscana)

Starting from 40,00 €
Agriturismo La Dolce Vista

Poppi (Toscana)

Starting from 60,00 €
Canto del Fiume, Vacanze in Toscana

ORTIGNANO RAGGIOLO (Italia)

Starting from 85,00 €