Arezzo and its charming lands: Cortona and the Val di Chiana, the Valdarno (Arno Valley), the Casentino region and the Valtiberina (Tiber Valley)
Art, architecture, culture, wonderful landscapes, places of worship, and delicious gastronomic flavors… these are all features that make Arezzo and its province an area of great tourist interest, to be explored! Let Sunny Tuscany & Italy help you to discover the hidden art historic, naturalistic and gastronomic treasures of Arezzo and its surroundings.
Arezzo is a city of many important figures. It is the birthplace of famous personalities such as Giorgio Vasari and Francesco Petrarch (deeply linked to the figure of Piero della Francesca). Here the great Renaissance painter has left some of his undisputed masterpieces, such as the magnificent frescoes of the Bacci Chapel in the Church of San Francesco. The city's famous Giostra del Saracino (the medieval Saracen Joust), the renowned Antiques Fair, the gold-working art of granulation handed down by the Etruscans. Away from the normal itineraries of the typical touristy spots, Arezzo definitely deserves to be discovered and lived intensely!
Another important artistic “pearl” of the province is Cortona, a wonderful village of Etruscan origin overlooking the entire Val di Chiana. A green expanse of wooded hills, vineyards, olive groves and ancient fortified villages such as Lucignano, Castiglion Fiorentino and Monte San Savino. Cortona is a small town characterized by its medieval palaces and small streets, made famous by Frances Mayes's wonderful film Under the Tuscan sun and also known for its "Tuscan Sun Festival". The festival features a musical program which includes interesting culinary and literary events, wine tastings and art exhibitions. The Val di Chiana is crossed by The Wine Road “Terre di Arezzo”, a renowned wine and food route winding throughout the beautiful countryside near Arezzo. You will find vineyards, olive groves, tobacco cultivations, chestnut woods and other wooded areas, as well as artistic and archaeological beauty.
The Wine Road "Terre di Arezzo" also goes across the Valdarno, a valley characterized by an unbelievable variety of landscapes. On one side you’ll see vines in rows along terraces sustained by old walls, villages and castles. On the other side instead, there are lunar landscapes of holes and excavations deriving from open-cast mines (the so-called “balze”, charming crags immortalized by Leonardo da Vinci in the background of his famous Monna Lisa).
The Wine Road “Terre di Arezzo” follows the Arno river towards the north, up to the Casentino region. The upper valley of the Arno river is a green land with an almost untouched nature, dotted with medieval castles (like the majestic Castle of Poppi). Romanesque churches and fascinating ancient sacred places penetrated with spirituality can be found throughout the area. One example is the National Park of Casentino Forests, the old-old forests covering the mountains in the north houses the Sacred Hermitage of Camaldoli and the Sanctuary of La Verna, inextricably linked to the great figure of St. Francis of Assisi.
In the Valtiberina (Tiber Valley), the upper valley of the Tiber river, the most eastern part of Tuscany near the border with the Umbria region, you can visit beautiful ancient villages connected to great Italian artists. The first, Sansepolcro was the birthplace of the famous Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca. Next, the town of Anghiari which was immortalized by Leonardo Da Vinci in the lost painting called Battle of Anghiari. Caprese Michelangelo, a mountain village that was the birthplace of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Finally, the town of Monterchi, which houses the famous Madonna del Parto (one of the most beautiful frescoes by Piero della Francesca).