Arezzo is well-known worldwide for Piero Della Francesca’s frescos and Piazza Grande square, but if you have the opportunity to stay longer, don’t miss out on these places, which reserve you all a series of surprises.
1. Viale Giotto
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This modern street , situated outside the historic walls, is long (about one kilometer), and every Saturday it turns into a local market, where you can find all a sort of things, from local food ( I suggest you should try a delicious sandwich “Panino con la Porchetta”) to clothes and earrings. You will find thousands of local people shopping here! Generally, it begins at 9 o’clock and finishes at one thirty in the afternoon. The best seasons to visit it are spring and autumn, as the weather is good enough for these periods.
2. Monte Lignano
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Situated about two kilometers from Arezzo, in the southern zone, it’s a nice place where you can plan a picnic with your family or friends, staying in contact with nature and enjoying a wonderful town sightseeing . It’s one of the favorite places for local people to spend their weekends during spring and summer. The hill is about 800 m., full of wood and farmhouses. Moreover, if you love animals, there are some typical animals such as fallow deer and boars.
3. Santa Maria delle Grazie
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In the eastern zone of the town (it is 3 kilometers far from the historical center), you can find this beautiful renaissance church with interesting frescos inside and an amazing cloister. Surrounded by green hills, it is a peaceful zone, perfect for relaxing after a long walk. For locals, it is the favorite place to get married. To arrive there, I suggest you take the bus, to reach there in few minutes. In case you are hungry, there are some bars near the church.
4. Alpe di Poti
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This mountain (900 m high) is at a distance of five kilometers from Arezzo, and if you are a fitness freak or love riding a bicycle, this is the perfect place! Moreover, you can plan a picnic too, surrounded by beautiful woods. If you love mushrooms, Poti is a good place, because you can easily find the Porcino Nero. The perfect season to visit is summer certainly, one the favorite places for locals to escape from the hot
5. Parco Giotto
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The main citizen park, built on a site occupied from a big factory years ago, is a place to relax after a long walk. Provided with a coffee shop and standpipes, you can find local families and pairs spending their leisure time. Inside there are contemporary sculptures too. Often the town council organizes food and music events there, being one of the largest areas of the town.
6. Piazza San Giusto
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If you want to know and interact with the local people, I suggest this place for the weekend, provided with a nice pub and a coffee shop. In summer, some concerts and events for young people are organized from the town council. You will be surrounded by medieval buildings, so there is a particular atmosphere that reigns in this site. I personally love going there with my friends to have a chat.
7. Via Redi and Via Toeletta
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Situated in the historic center, between the two main roads Corso Italia and Via Madonna del Prato, in these streets, there are some disco pubs which serve delicious cocktails. Here the local Movida takes place during weekends. In the morning, instead, you could pass here to eat something in one of the restaurants which serve mainly local food and drinks ( I suggest you drink a good bottle of red or white wine in order to relax your senses.)
Local students spend their weekend nights in this nice square, full of coffee shops and restaurants. There is also a fountain with lights. Every morning, if you are interested, a small market is set up here, where you can find shoes, clothes, local food and other things. There is a medieval church too with interesting art works inside, in positive contrast with the modern aspect of the square, rebuilt five years ago after a long period. This is the classic Italian “Piazza” J.
9. Il Prato
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Situated between The cathedral and the fortress, this nice green area (the highest point of Arezzo) is a peaceful place to spend a night. I suggest you should click a photo in front of the white Petrarca’s monument, maybe the most beautiful town’s sculpture (it is dedicated to the poet Francesco Petrarca). Moreover, there is a beautiful sightseeing of Arezzo. If you want, there is also a nice coffee shop that serves delicious sandwiches and snacks.
In Arezzo surroundings, there are many small villages that organize during the summer season country fairs that serve only local foods such as Ocio (local gee), Maccheroni (a typical Italian pasta) and Nana (as the locals call the duck). Maybe the main fair is “La Sagra” of Ruscello, a village distant 7 kilometers from Arezzo, with interesting country exhibitions. However, you must try one of these events. The “sagre”period is between may and September, bu the majority of these are organized in July.
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Written by Marco Pecorai