Arezzo - Excursions and Places of interest
Information updated 23 Jan 2015
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale 'Gaio Cilnio Mecenate', a unique museum overlooking the remains of a Roman amphitheatre and housed in a 14th century convent building, features a great collection of Roman and Etruscan artefacts.
Why not also visit the unique Casa del Vasari, a house built in 1540 by the Arezzo born architect, painter and art historian of the name Giorgio Vasari. This has now been converted into a small museum that showcases where Vasari lived and worked, with decorated ceilings and walls as well as portraits of friends and fellow artists.
Churches / Cathedrals
The Pieve di Santa Maria is a 12trh century church located on the Corso Italia and Piazza Grande. As Arezzo's oldest church it boasts a beautiful ornate Romanesque facade as well as a fantastic campanile dating back to 1330.
Duomo di Arezzo is the city's cathedral located on Piazza del Duomo. Completed during the 15th century it features a facade dating to 1914, a gothic style interior and beautiful 16th century stained glass.
The Basilica di San Francesco is a 14th century chapel (Cappella Bacci) that houses possibly one of the most greatest pieces of Italian artwork 'Legend of the True Cross', painted by Piero della Francesca, and is located on the Piazza San Francesco.
The Santa Maria delle Grazie is a fantastic church set within its own walled garden and is located on the Via di Santa Maria. The church was completed in 1449.
Other Places of interest
The Fortezza Medicea, located on the east side of the city, is a pentagonal shaped fortress that was built during the 16th century and sits on the highest point in the city. It's worth a visit to witness the excellent views across the Arno valley.
The popular Piazza Grande is a steep sloping piazza and is the venue for Arezzo's famous antiques fair, one of the largest in Italy.
The Giardino del Prato is the city's large public park and is situated between the Duomo and Fortezza Medicea. Featuring extensive lawns, this park is the perfect place for a picnic.
Pisa is a city located on the right of the mouth of the river Arno and is the home of the University of Pisa and many research schools. The centre of the city offers vibrant cafes, bars and a lively street atmosphere, or alternatively a large collection of Romanesque buildings, Renaissance piazzas and churches can be found giving all visitors lots to see and do. However the real reason millions of people visit the city each year is for its famous Leaning Tower. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is also partnered by the Duomo (cathedral), the Baptistry and the Campo Santo cemetery situated on the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles).
The Leaning Tower:
Construction of this uniquely breath-taking tower, also known as the campanile (bell tower) for the Duomo (cathedral), began back in 1173 but had to stop due to the structure starting to tilt after the third storey was completed. Work continued despite the lean and was fully completed in 1350. Open to the public, today a small number of visitors at a time can climb the 294 steps to the top.
Many other sights in Pisa include the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the Museo delle Sinopie and the Piazza dei Cavalieri.
While in Tuscany, a trip to Florence is an absolute must. The city is known to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and possibly the most beautiful city in Italy. Florence boasts hundreds of local restaurants and shops as well as an overwhelming amount of museums, galleries and stunning architecture.
Some of these tourist sites include:
Possibly the most iconic building in Florence, the Duomo (or cathedral of Florence) dominates the city with its enormous dome. A visit to this magnificent cathedral wouldn’t be complete or fully appreciated without climbing its 463 interior stone steps to the top, where views of the surrounding city can be enjoyed. Located in the Piazza del Duomo, this cathedral complex also includes the Campanile and Bapistery, with the Bapistery being one of Florence’s oldest buildings. The Campanile (bell tower) contains 414 steps to the top and offers the reward of a view nearly as impressive as that from the dome. Together these buildings form part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Known to be among the most impressive town halls of Tuscany, this medieval palace was completed in 1322 and boasts a striking campanile (bell tower) that reaches 94 meters high. The palazzo overlooks the Piazza della Signoria, a piazza showcasing a unique outdoor sculpture gallery with statues highlighting major events in the city’s history.
The Uffizi gallery is among the oldest and most famous art museum in Europe and possibly the world. This gallery is situated in Piazzale degli Uffizi and is overflowing with Renaissance masterpieces, including: ‘The Birth of Venus’ (1485) by Botticelli, ‘The Venus of Urbino’ (1538) by Titian and ‘Dukes of Urbino’ (1460) by Piero della Franesca to name a few.
A medieval bridge, built in 1345 that crosses the Arno river. The bridge is Florence’s oldest and is noted for still featuring shops built along it. Currently the shops are let to jewellers, souvenir sellers and art dealers.
An art museum in Florence that is most famously known as the home of Michelangelo’s sculpture, David. The museum also showcases a collection of Renaissance paintings.
Many other sights in Florence include the Palazzo Pitti, Basilica of Santa Croce, Boboli Gardens, Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and the Basilica di San Lorenzo to name a few.
Built on seven hills, Siena features a network of narrow cobbled streets and alleyways as well as wide variety of local restaurants and bars. Some of the main tourist sites include:
Piazza del Campo:
At the city’s centre, the Piazza del Campo is undoubtedly known as the heart and social centre of the city. Built on the site of a former Roman marketplace, the piazza floor is sloped so you will find many locals and tourists spend time just sitting and watching the world. The piazza features the Fonte Gaia, a rectangular fountain decorated with statues.
The Palazzo Pubblico is possibly the most iconic building in Siena and has been the town hall since the 13th century. At 102 meters high the bell tower, also known as the Torre del Mangia, boasts 500 plus steps and is the second tallest medieval tower to be built in Italy. Climbing to the top provides outstanding views of Siena and the surrounding area.
Other sights in Siena include the Museo Civico, the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena’s Duomo (cathedral), the Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana, Palazzo Piccolomini and the Basilica of San Domenico to name a few. There is also the popular ancient sporting event known as Il Palio annually held on two days during the summer on the Piazza del Campo.
Arezzo - Activities
Information updated 09 Oct 2014