South of Florence lies the beautiful province of Arezzo. The area around the provincial capital of the same name is crossed by the rivers Chiara, Tiber and Arno. Typical Tuscan flair awaits you on 3.235 km².
The east of Tuscany is a welcome change for everyone who wants to escape the tourist hustle and bustle Florence or Siena want to avoid. However, that doesn't mean that travelers have to go without anything here. Quite the opposite! The Renaissance heartland lives up to its reputation, enchanting with historic settings, rolling hills, lush vineyards and picturesque olive groves. Paths lined with pine and cypress trees lead you to the highlights of the region.
The capital of the same name offers the highest density of attractions. Visitors interested in history will really enjoy the city with around 100.000 inhabitants. The old town impresses with its medieval flair of narrow streets, houses in the Mediterranean architectural style and ornate arcades. With its irregular dimensions, the Piazza Grande is the most beautiful square in the city and definitely worth a detour.
Small restaurants and cafés invite visitors to enjoy the culinary delights and the way of life in Tuscany.
You should also visit the city's churches. Particularly noteworthy are the cathedral of Arezzo and the mendicant church “Basilica of San Francesco”. In the church “San Francesco” you will find a cycle of frescoes by Pietro della Francesca that illustrates the “Legend of the True Cross”.
Five minutes' walk from the cathedral is the Fortezza Medicea, which offers a wonderful view for its visitors.
The landscape of Arezzo, characterized by the Apennines, is divided into four valleys: Casentino, Valdarno, Valdichiana and Valtiberina.
There is part of the “Parco Nazionale delle Foreste” nature reserve in the province. The area boasts rich flora and fauna, as well as many inviting hiking trails. Along the park's hiking routes you can visit the “Santuario della Verna” monastery and the “Camaldoli” hermitage. The monastery was built to venerate Saint Francis of Assisi. If you want to discover the birthplace of Michelangelo, you should head to Caprese Michelangelo. Here too you will find various hiking routes that need to be tackled.
Arezzo is perfect for long walks and bike rides.
Those who are interested in enjoyment in addition to sport can visit one or more of the province's numerous wineries.
The picturesque Etruscan town of Cortona lies on the border with Umbria. Enjoy the wild romance of the Tuscan city. The fabulous view over the Chiara Valley will make you never want to leave the city again. From Arezzo, the city can be reached in just under an hour by car.
The town of Sansepolcro is at a similar distance. According to legend, the place was founded by pilgrims. It is now home to 15.800 people. Sansepolcro Cathedral houses a larger-than-life wooden cross.
The communities of Anghiari, Bibbiena, Castiglion, Camaldoli, Fiorentino, Foiano della Chiana, Poppi, Monte San Savino and Montevarchi are also worth a visit.
In addition to the already mentioned wineries and the olive groves of Arezzo, the region also offers heartier culinary delights.
Typical examples include: “Stufato alla Sangiovannese”, a type of goulash seasoned with lemon peel. The “Arrosto Girato”, a skewer of meat roasted over an open fire, is another local delicacy.
The “Chianina” cattle breed, which comes from the Chiana Valley, is the largest breed of cattle in the world. The meat from Chiana beef is of outstanding quality. See for yourself with a “Bistecca alla Fiorentina”.