Arezzo--what to do and see?

Aug 15th, 2007, 06:20 PM
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Arezzo--what to do and see?

We will be in Arezzo for one and a half days in late September. What would you recommend to do and see?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers,

Jinx Hoover
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Aug 15th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Piero della Francesca's fresco cycle of the Legend of the True Cross in the church of San Francesco.
Zerlina is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 01:35 AM
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I agree that San francesco is wonderful. When I was there, there was also access to the scavi underneath, which was interesting (some remnants of the Etruscan period). Definitely see the cathedral too, there are some lovely ceiling frescoes. There's a lovely view over the countryside from the park (the Passeggio del Prato)nearby, and clean toilets at the tourist information (down an open air escalator from the cathedral).

There's an excellent permanent display in the Museo d'Arte Medioevale e Moderna. The Piazza Grande is attractive, and that whole area is nice to walk around. You can also visit (although I didn't have time) Vasari's house, and see from the outside Petrarch's birthplace.

Near the station is the Roman amphitheatre and an archaeological museum.
Nonconformist is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 02:09 AM
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We spent a night there a couple of years ago specifically to do the Piero della Franceso Trail - http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/art/pk_arttrails.htm. If you do it, it's worth getting the John Pope-Hennessey book.

We arrived in the evening, got to the church where the Pieros are at opening time (before the tour groups arrived - they were starting to arrive as we left), had a very brief walk around the rest of the town centre (I seem to remember there was a wonderful Simone Martini crucifix in another church, but we didn't have time to go into the Duomo or anywhere else). Then drove to Monterchi, then to Sansepolcro where we had lunch then saw the Pieros, then across the Mountains of the Moon to Urbino.

We stayed the second night in Urbino & saw the museum there the next morning; but it is feasible to see all the Pieros in one day, especially since you have another half day to see the rest of Arrezzo's main sights.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 03:01 AM
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Places to visit in Arezzo:

- Piazza Grande - is the geographic centre and where the most important monuments are located in this city built to symbolize the wealth and power of the city state. The square is famous for its regular antiques market.
Vasari played his part during the 16th Century with the building of the famous Palazzo delle Logge in 1573. At its lowest part is the 16th Century Fontana Publicca or Public Fountain. On the west side, the facade of the Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici is decorated with a relief of the Virgin, 1434 by Bernardo Rossellino. The lower half of the building dates from 1377 and the belfry and clock tower date from 1552.
Due to the natural features of the underlying land, the square slopes heavily downwards.

- Church of Saint Francis - the 13th century church, in the square of the same name is a jewel; its walls are completely covered in the frescos of Piero della Francesca depicting the Legend of the True Cross, which is even more impressive following a recent restoration. The church is Gothic, but was restored during the 20th Century.

- Pieve di Santa Maria - Parish Church of Saint Mary is also especially beautiful. Built on a medieval nucleus, the church is a splendid example of Romanesque style. A series of blind arches form the base of the facade and support three tiers of loggias made up of columns of different sizes. The portal is decorated with bas relief as is the vault in which the 12 months of the year are portrayed allegorically in sculpture. The bell tower on the side of the church dates to 1330 and is made up of five floors of spires. The interior has three naves with a trussed ceiling.

- Duomo - is at the top of a wide staircase which holds erect its neo-Gothic travertine facade built over what was originally Gothic. Next to a polygonal apse, decorated with tall spires, stands the neo-Gothic bell tower. The interior has three naves covered with ogival vaults and splendid stained glass windows dating from the 16th Century by Guilaume de Marcillat. Near the entrance to the Sacristy is a fresco by Piero della Francesca depicting Maria Magdalene.

- Casa Vasari - Vasari`s house, today a museum and archive of his work, was commissioned by the artist during the 16th Century. He supervised the interior decoration himself and painted the caissons on the ceilings and the friezes on the walls.
A productive painter and architect, Vasari is most famous for his book "Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects" 1530. An account of many great Renaissance artist, led to Vasari being described as the first art historian.

- Church of Saint Domenic - which has a series of frescos by artist from Arezzo and Siena and a Crucifix painted on a wooden tablet by a young Cimabue.

- The Museo Statate d`Arte Medievale e Moderna - The Public Museum for Medieval and Modern Art- located in Palazzo Brunni-Chiocci, consist of a collection of Tuscan art from the 14th Century and includes one of the most important collections of Italian majolica made between the 15th-18th Centuries.

- Fortezza Medici - imposing fortress was built for Cosmo I during the 16th century. It was partly demolished in the 18th century, living only ramparts intact. With its excellent views across the Arno valley, it remains an perfect spot for a picnic.

- Parco il Prato - cityís largest public park, it contains a huge statue, 1928 of the great poet Petrarch. The house where he was born 1304 stands at the entrance to the park in Via dell Orto.

- The facade of Palazzo Pretorio - Governorís Palace in Via dei Pillati is covered with the crests of Florentine officials and important families.

- Anfiteatro Romano e Museo Archeologico - a ruined Roman amphitheatre stands near the Museo Archeologico to the south of Arezzo. Famous for its extensive collection of Roman Aretine ware, the museum has a display showing how this high quality red-glazed pottery was produced during the 1st century BC and exported throughout the Roman Empire.

More about Arezzo:
http://www.tuscanweb.com/news/?ID=107

Hope it helps.

Mario06 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 03:05 AM
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Sorry for the typos.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 03:06 AM
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P.P.S. Take binoculars for the frescos.
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Aug 16th, 2007, 03:21 AM
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P.P.P.S. Not Martini, Cimabue.
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Aug 16th, 2007, 04:51 AM
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Fantastic!! Thanks all.

Jinx Hoover
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Aug 16th, 2007, 05:46 AM
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The San Francesco frescoes have a cameo appearance in one of my favorite films, The English Patient. I love that scene!!!
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Aug 16th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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And the main square in Arezzo is also the one in the Roberto Benigni film La Vie est Belle (Life is good in English?)He bicycles around the square when wooing his wife, the principessa.

Cimabue crucifix is wonnderful.
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