Tuscany has no shortage of charming mediaeval hill towns. What makes Arezzo unique is that while other Tuscan cities may be better known or well-preserved, few populaces seem to take as much glory in their mediaeval heritage as the residents of Arezzo.
Arezzo holds fast to its mediaeval roots. Each year, the city hosts both an international choral singing competition and a Saracen Joust, when all the townspeople dress in mediaeval costume to cheer on knights on horseback. The rest of the year, Arezzo’s attractions are manifold. Some highlights include the Piazza Grande, the Romanesque Santa Maria della PIeve church, and the Roman amphitheatre and museum.
Located nearly 80 kilometres south-east of Florence, one might think reaching Arezzo would be no easy task. In fact, the city enjoys a direct train connexion to Florence multiple times a day. Most trips are likely to take about an hour, but a high-speed connexion can land visitors in Arezzo in as little as 30 minutes.
Like most Tuscan hill towns, Arezzo owes its earliest settlement to the Etruscans. In fact, Arezzo was considered part of the Dodecapolis, the league of the twelve most important Etruscan cities. In Roman days, the city was quite highly regarded for its pottery, and this remains one of its greatest artistic legacies.