As an alternative to holidaying in Florence or Siena where waves and waves of tourists make the viewing of just about anything, if not impossible, certainly no pleasure, Peter and Juan from San Diego, California decided this year, to try out Arezzo. They were struck by its elegance, laid back easy lifestyle, its excellent selection of restaurants and of course its rich history. In the near absence of tourists, they were able to wander around the town at will, visit museums without queuing and soak in the genuine atmosphere of this relatively undiscovered Italian town. Here they recount their experience:
Photo credit - Nicola Burazzi
“This is a little bit about our trip to Arezzo. Normally every year, we take off to Italy and anchor ourselves in Florence and stay in the fine neighborhood of San Niccolò, on the Oltrarno side, which has less tourists and more locals to interact with.
This year after some research, we decided to anchor ourselves in Arezzo. We had been to Arezzo two times before, but only for an afternoon.
We found wonderful accommodation at the B&B Francesco Redi. The owner, Omero is fantastic! He is very helpful and makes excellent recommendations. The property is centrally located. You can walk into the centro storico. There is also a great bar next to the B&B - La Bottega di Cappuccini. The owner Nicola is welcoming, friendly and respectful to everyone entering. There is also a nearby deli for groceries and wine. Very convenient.
With all said, we found Arezzo welcoming, elegant with everything happening at a unhurried pace. Definitely less tourists than you would expect in this ancient, Tuscan city. It's a hidden gem.
Arezzo brings together, THE OLD and THE NEW. It hosts many traditional events throughout the year. For example, the Giostra del Saracino, the Christmas Market and its monthly Antique Market. Plus, much more.
As you walk around, keep in mind that Arezzo was under the Medici's realm. You will see their influence throughout the city. At the top of Arezzo, is the Medici Fortress. A must see! You can still walk around its wall which overlook the Tuscan country side. Arezzo is also a center for gold jewelry manufacturing. There are great jewelers in the city.
A few mentions of people born in Arezzo are:
Giorgio Vassari, Piero Della Francesca, Guido Monaco, Prada and others. Great history behind these contributors to history and our society.
When it comes to churches, museums, galleries (and more) there are plenty of choices to visit.
Now for some recommendations on places to eat! These are not in order of rating or ranking. You will not be disappointed!
Agania Osteria, Il Saraceno, Da Graziella, Pizzeria Lo Scugnizzo, Pizzeria gli Ostinati, Pizzeria Miva, Pizzeria O'Sarracino, Ristorante Ciao, Panini & Co. and Avize. So many other great choices too. Japanese, Indian and Thai. Buon appetito!
Another big advantage of this city, is the insuperable location and accessibility, right there in the middle of so many great cities and towns like Florence, Siena, Perugia, Assisi, Bologna, Pisa, etc…
In closing, Arezzo with its beautiful ambiance, cultural heritage, yearly events, location and friendly people was an experience and place we will be planning to return to on our next trip in 2024”.
Peter and Juan, San Diego, California