The province of Arezzo lies in the east of Tuscany, with mountains in the north and the border with Umbria in the south. It's a varied and interesting landscape, rich in history and with plenty of things to see and do - here are some of our favourites.
Like all Renaissance painters, Piero della Francesca moved from one commission to another, but as he was born in San Sepolcro, there are many opportunities to view his works in this area. The Civic Museum in his hometown holds several, Arezzo's two major churches have stunning works and the small town of Monterchi has one very important piece tucked in a small church/museum. Find out more here: Piero della Francesca.
Rare species nest in this part of the Arno River against the backdrop of the famous 13th C. bridge seen in the ‘Mona Lisa’. In a reserve which was the first protected area in the province of Arezzo, species of heron, buzzards, and rare owls come to a stretch of the Arno that is buffered by cultivated fields and forests of oaks, poplars and elms.
Indulge in some antique hunting in Arezzo’s vast open-air antique market spread throughout its historic centre on the first Sunday of every month and the Saturday before. Piazza Grande cannot contain all the stands that sell antique furniture and paintings, as well as smaller collectibles; hence, tables spill onto side streets and the city becomes a mecca for connoisseurs and bargain hunters alike.
Cycle from Arezzo to Monte Cetona Even taken in portions, this itinerary that traces the footsteps of the Etruscans is a close-up of natural oases and ancient habitations that will impress. Quite likely, unless a serious biker, one may not manage all of the 140 km trail, but portions of the route, which roughly follows the Sentiero della Bonifica are quite easy and will meander their way along the Canale Maestro and past Foiano della Chiana, Cortona and Torrita di Siena before heading uphill.
Discover the Casentino Forest on horseback or bicycle and ride past castles, abbeys and the Hermitage at Calmaldoli, all within the historic protected area of the Apennines. The park gives suggested bike trails, while local riding clubs venture out on guided excursions on horseback. No matter how you travel there are definitely benefits of traveling in the slow lane.