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What to do in Arezzo – Tuscany

What to do in Arezzo – Tuscany

In Arezzo, I had already been now several years ago. For at least two years, then, I had made up my mind to want to come back to refresh my memory and discover it better than I had already done. At the turn of June and July (2018), therefore, I caught the ball to return, even in conjunction with the antique fair held in the city every first weekend of the month. If you arrive by car, there are numerous car parks where you can leave it just outside the historic centre.
Arezzo: anfiteatro romano At the ATAM “Eden” parking lot, just over 3 hours of parking cost us about 4 euros. The choice is still vast, and I noticed that every parking lot has a good number of seats available (surely you do not risk to stay without, apart from events that attract many more people in the city than usual or in case you still arrive at times already they are prohibitive). I want to start this tour of Arezzo from its Roman Amphitheater, in the south of the city inside the walls. From the elliptical shape, the amphitheatre dates back to the first century AD .: it was built with sandstone, marble and bricks and had a capacity of about 8000 people.
Arezzo: anfiteatro romano Observing the remains well, we still recognise the stalls, the ambulatories and some parts of public buildings used to move from one side of the amphitheatre to the other. Over the centuries, the amphitheatre was looted several times and, in the 16th century, it became a sort of stone quarry from which material was taken for the construction of the Monastery of St. Bernard. Among the remains of the monument, today you can still enjoy the view of part of the stalls, with around some ruins of the ambulacri.L’accesso to the “park” that surrounds it is next to the National Archaeological Museum Gaio Cilnio Mecenate, which you must contact for the (free) visit to the amphitheater itself.
Arezzo: chiesa di Santa Maria della Pieve The admission ticket to the museum costs € 6 (reduced ticket € 3). About 5 minutes walk from the parking that I suggested, is Corso Italia: it is the main street of the city. Located between Corso Italia, where the entrance is, and Piazza Grande is the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve. The church first mention is in some documents of 1008, and the current structure was started in the twelfth century, thanks to funding and collaboration of the municipality of Arezzo. In 1200 the façade was renovated, while the bell tower was completed in 1330.
Arezzo: la piazza centrale During the nineteenth century, it was brought back to its original appearance, in Romanesque style. As I said a moment ago, the apse of the church overlooks Piazza Grande, the main square of the city and around which there is an antique fair where so many know the town (the market is held every first weekend of each month). From the trapezoidal shape, even a little inclined, the square is made even more special by the buildings of different eras built along its sides and was the ancient Platea Communis: born around the XIII century and then modified during the 1500s, here were the trade exchanges. In the Medici era, it became the square of the city offices. The Palazzo delle Logge was built in 1573 by Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) and on its portico overlook various artisan shops and various commercial activities.
Santa Maria della Pieve: interni Surely, once in in Arezzo, you shouldn’t miss the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donato (or the city’s Duomo). The church is located on the top of the hill where Arezzo was built, and it seems this, in ancient times, was the place where the acropolis stood. Situated on what was the site of an early Christian church, the “first” city cathedral stood on the Colle del Pionta (the martyred Donato was buried here and venerated). With Pope Innocent III, in 1203, the decision was taken to move the cathedral within the walls: to do so, the thirty thousand gold florins left by Pope Gregory X were decisive for the construction of a new temple (the Pope died in 1276 in Arezzo, where he stopped on his return from the Council of Lyons). The works, then started in 1278, were then completed in 1511 after numerous interruptions. The façade is decidedly recent, as it was built between 1901 and 1914 to replace the unfinished one of the fifteenth century. On the main altar, there is a marble arch of the ‘300, where the body of San Donato is preserved (the head is located in the reliquary situated, however, in the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve).

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