This city boasts very ancient origins, since Palaeolithic to Etruscan times, when it became one of the most important cities in the whole Tuscany, a role it kept ever since because of its strategic position on the Via Cassia. Part of the large medieval city was destroyed during WWII, but the downtown still holds splendid monuments, churches, palazzi and mansions, and important museums. The San Francesco Basilica is perhaps the most famous of the city’s churches, as within it one finds the complete of Piero della Francesca’s frescos of the Legend of the True Cross, a Renaissance masterpiece of inestimable value. But the visitor will also admire the Medici’s Fortress, the Roman amphitheatre, and the Church of San Francesco, with the celebrated wooden crucifix by Cimabue. For lovers of antiquities, the great Antique Festival, held in Piazza Grande and in the streets of the historical centre, can’t be missed too. It was founded in Arezzo in 1968, the very first in Italy, and since then, on the first Sundays of every month (and the day before), offers to experts, collectors and the general public the finest selections of decorative and artistic objects that constitute the history and identity of our cultural heritage to the present day. Both collectors and fans can enjoy here the real pleasure of trouvaille, the search and discovery of the precious or right and cherished piece.
Arezzo was the hometown of many important figures in Italian culture and history: Giorgio Vasari, Piero della Francesca, Guido Monaco, Francesco Redi and Francesco Petrarca. The Nobel Laureate Giosuè Carducci said, “Arezzo in itself would be enough for the glory of Italy”.