Arezzo, città di pionieri

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Who are Giorgio Vasari, Francesco Petrarca, Guido Monaco and Piero della Francesca? the simple answer is that they are all born near Arezzo. You can book a Hotel in Arezzo and come to know them, to visit their homes and places where they created works famous in time.

Guido of Arezzo or Guido Aretinus or Guido da Arezzo or Guido Monaco or Guido d'Arezzo (991/992 – after 1033) was a music theorist of the Medieval era. He is regarded as the inventor of modern musical notation (staff notation). While at Arezzo, he developed new technologies for teaching, such as staff notation and the use of the "ut-re-mi" (do-re-mi) mnemonic. The do-re-mi syllables are taken from the initial syllables of each of the first six half-lines of the first stanza of the hymn Ut queant laxis, but the musical line shares a common ancestor with the arrangement of Horace's Ode to Phyllis recorded in the Montpellier manuscript H425. Guido is also credited with the invention of the Guidonian hand] a widely used mnemonic system where note names are mapped to parts of the human hand.


francesco_petrarcaThe great Italian poet and classical scholar Francesco Petrarca was born in Arezzo, a central Italian city south of Florence, in 1304. "I was born to this world in the Via dell' Orto of the city of Arezzo, just at dawn on Monday, July 20. In 1327, in the church of Santa Clara in Avignon Petrarch saw and fell in love with Laura. This encounter inspired him to write a series of small poems to her and about her and about love. These poems became part of Petrarch's most influential work, that which came to be called Il Canzoniere, the collection of hundreds of sonnets about love.






Giorgio Vasari (Arezzo, 1511 - Firenze, 1574) non è stato da meno, anche se in un modo diverso. Lo si conosce come pittore e architetto (ha cominciato lui i lavori per quella che adesso è la Galleria degli Uffizi.

La sua opera più famosa però è un trattato: si tratta delle "Vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori italiani, da Cimabue insino a' tempi nostri". In un vero e proprio censimento storiografico - ma che non tralascia di raccontare aneddoti anche divertendi, facendo anche arrabbiare gli artisti citati - Vasari traccia una mappa che collega ben 160 artisti.

In un periodo in cui i documenti ufficiali erano spesso vittima di incendi, battaglie e altre devastazioni la sua opera è stata ed è fondamentale (uno dei primi libri che ho dovuto leggere all'università, ricordo, e a un corso di letteratura!). Uno degli esempi è la data di nascita di Piero della Francesca: tuttora sconosciuta, è stata ricostruita più precisamente proprio grazie alla documentazione presente nelle "vite".

Ma l'opera del Vasari ha segnato un altro grande esordio, quello proprio dei metodi della storiografia dell'arte, e ha dato inizio quindi a uno studio più consapevole, più strutturato dell'arte.

Il filo rosso che accomuna questi 4 maestri è quindi che tutti, nel loro campo, sono stati dei pionieri. Non si sono dedicati solo all'arte, ma hanno speso energie anche perché l'arte superasse se stessa, imboccasse strade più proficue, fosse a disposizione di tutti, conosciuta e riconosciuta.

E riconoscere l'arte, si sa, è riconoscere un po' sé stessi.

Arezzo. ...for us

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For those who have finished with Florence, and want to explore the rest of Tuscany, the classic traveller's route runs either due south – to the vineyards of Chianti, the towers and Palio of Siena and San Gimignano, the hill towns between Montalcino and Montepulciano – or west to Pisa, Lucca and the coast. Aside from Cortona – a lovely town popularised, and in high season very nearly ruined, by Frances Mayes's well-meaning memoir Under the Tuscan Sun – eastern Tuscany gets far less attention.

That is a huge bonus for those who do make it to the region's vibrant little capital, Arezzo, just an hour by train from Florence. They come to this half-forgotten corner, in steady but never excessive numbers, drawn mostly by the joyful frescoes of the Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca, and discover a city rich in art and architecture but mostly free of crowds.

As well as being an attraction in its own right, Arezzo is also the jumping-off point for the Casentino valley, an area dotted with Romanesque chapels, medieval castles – one of which hosted Dante – and good restaurants. Two important Franciscan sites, the monasteries of La Verna and Camaldoli, lie high in the wooded mountains that ring the valley.

Tempted? Here is how to make the most of the city and its region.


Where art and tradition converge 

The town lies in the foothills of the Appenines fanning out into the broad fertile river valleys of the Arno, Tiber, Casentino, and Valdichiana. Arezzo is the administrative and economic capital of the large province of the same name, whose economy over the last fifty years has grown rapidly, shifting from agriculture to industry. It is now a majorgoldsmith center while tourism is the town’s other major employer. Arezzo's ability to combine its cultural heritage with a modern entrepreneurial identity makes it an important centre for the whole of eastern Tuscany.
Eight defensive walls have been constructed around the the hill on which the ancient town was built, each larger than the previous one. The most recent wall, built in the 16th century, effectively curbed urban expansion until modern times. Each time the town's boundaries expanded a 'new' Arezzo emerged, blending with the pre-existing town. This is the key to Arezzo's historical identity: the sum of very different parts - medieval Arezzo, the town of the grand-dukes, the Medici and the rule of Lorraine. This fundamental aspect of the town’s character helps us understand how the 'new' town, inspired by late 19th-century town-planning principles, could so readily connect to the 'old' town
At the top of the hill, the Piazza Grande is at the heart of the town. As in the earlier walled Etruscan settlement (6th–5th century BC), the forum of the Roman city was in or near this square, perched between the hills of San Pietro (where the cathedral now stands) and San Donato (today occupied by the Fortress). Arezzo used to be as major a center for farming and industryas Romeand Capua in ancient times. It was famous for itsspelt wheat, bronze statues and terracotta. The works that have survived (including the bronze Chimera, now in Florence) show the high level of technical and aesthetic sophistication achieved. In Augustan times, items made of 'sealed Arezzo earth' (ceramics) were much sought-after.The walls built in 1194, along what is now Via Garibaldi, enclosed a town of 20,000 inhabitants. The town was organized into the four quarters that compete in the Saracen Tournament to this day. The Studio Generale or university (the successor to the episcopal school whose illustrious pupils included Guido Monaco) added cultural importance. Arezzo produced such geniuses as Guittone and the eclectic Ristoro. "Alas! Now is the season of great woe”, sang the great 13th-century poet Guittone d’Arezzo. The defeat of Arezzo by the Guelphs of Florence at Campaldino in 1289 was a severe blow to the rich and powerful Ghibelline commune, which had adorned its 'acropolis' with churches and public buildings.
Between the 13th and the 14th centuries the town expanded fan-wise as can still be seen on modern town maps, with main thoroughfares leading toward the Chiana riverand Florence. Before Florentine expansion overwhelmed Arezzo’s independence, the town enjoyed one further period of progress under the pro-imperial bishop Guido Tarlati(1319-27). Tarlati helped to bring about economic and cultural developments: art and architecture flourished, and work began on the new walls that were to form the largest defence system the town had ever known. When Guido died his brother Pier Saccone was unable to continue the work and in 1384, the town of Arezzo and the surrounding territory, were incorporated into the Florentine state.DECLINE AND RECOVERY
The 15th century brought both decline (in the population and social life) and some economic recovery. The town’s main architects were Florentines (Bernardo Rossellino, Benedetto and Giuliano da Maiano, Antonio da Sangallo the Elder and his brother Giuliano) but it was the work of Piero della Francesca, that was fundamental to early Renaissance art: the "Legend of the True Cross" fresco on the apse walls of the church of St. Francis. The town lost its most cherished landmarkswhen the Florentine Grand Duke Cosimo I demolished the towers, churches (including the old cathedral built by Pionta) and other private buildings that smacked of political autonomy. In their place appeared new walls (1538) and a star-shaped fortress.


Arezzo began to take its present form in the second half of the 18th century, but it was not until a century later, with the arrival of the railroad (1866), that urban redevelopment really began. The 'new town' grew up around Arezzo’s ancient core, without impinging upon it. The town that greets visitors today is remarkable in the sheer abundance of its art and architecture, and its culture and local traditions: a rich heritage, ranging from awe-inspiring monuments to smaller treasures, offering interesting insights into a town and civilization.

Today Arezzo, situated within striking distance of Firenze, Perugia, Siena, and numerous small hill towns like Cortona, is the provincial capitol of Toscana.  Arezzo is different from many towns in Toscana: no sweeping views, no fresco colored villas with red tile roofs as far as the eye can see. It’s not on a river, however both the Arno and the Tiber originate north of Arezzo in the hills and pass through the area. It sits on a low hill in the Clanis valley.  It’s not famous for leather goods, food, wine, famous museums and great restaurants but it has all of these things. 

Arezzo today is home to hard working people who take great pride in their history and the artists and writers who lived and worked in Arezzo. Those artists include della Francesca, Signorelli, Cimabue, Angelico and others. Arezzo was the birthplace of Petrarch and Giorgio Vasari. Despite the difficulties of funding public works, the city is restoring the Teatro Petrarca. The Vasari home is now a beautiful museum with splendid painted walls and ceilings. They are also hard at work excavating the Roman amphitheater and renovating the adjacent Archaeology Museum.

Arezzo does not live for tourists; it welcomes them and you see groups wandering around the sites every day.  Arezzo does live for antiques.  It has a regional antique show once a month and a really big one once a year.  There are antique shops everywhere you look within the historic center. 

If this isn’t enough, there is great shopping and great prices on via d’Italia and via Cavour! We each treated ourselves to a new something: Ken a dynamite sports jacket and brilliant scarf, and for moi, a dazzling sweater with lace down the back and peeking out around the bottom of the sweater. Arezzo really is a marvelous place to stay and experience authentic Italian life.

Hotel Fiera Antiquaria Arezzo, tel 0575294003

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Prenotando direttamente per telefono 0575294003 acquistate a -10% una camera matrimoniale per la Fiera Antiquaria

( ogni prima domenica del mese e il sabato precedente)

presso il nostro Hotel Aretino** . Prenota il pranzo presso il ns Bistrot Paris, menu' a partire da 7,00 e.

Hotel Aretino Arezzo in pieno centro, vicino Fiera Antiquaria con Pasticceria artigianale, colazione a buffet. Bistrot interno. Bar aperitivi e cocktails.

Calendario Fiera Antiquaria 2020:  5-6 dicembre.

La celebre Fiera Antiquaria di Arezzo è una delle fiere dell'antiquariato più importanti e grandi d'Italia. Nata nel 1968 per volere di Ivan Bruschi, da oltre 50 anni si tiene ogni prima domenica del mese e sabato precedente. La location è la magnifica cornice di Piazza Grande (o Piazza Vasari) e le vie del centro storico (solo l’edizione di settembre si svolge presso il Prato a causa della concom con la Giostra del Saracino). Quasi 400 espositori, provenienti da ogni parte d’Italia, propongono a migliaia di visitatori i loro oggetti d’arte, mobili, gioielli e bijoux, orologi, libri e stampe antiche, strumenti scientifici e musicali, giocattoli, biancheria d’antan e ogni tipo di collezionismo.

A seguito di una riforma interna la Fiera Antiquaria ha aperto i suoi banchi anche ai settori del modernariato, del vintage e dell’artigianato di qualità.

 La Fiera offre l'opportunità ai collezionisti e agli amanti del genere una grande quantità di oggetti antichi, regalando il piacere della trouvaille, ovvero la scoperta e la ricerca del pezzo raro o curioso. Amata anche da un pubblico internazionale, la Fiera Antiquaria ha saputo dare un'immagine di sè più al passo con i tempi.




Gold Fair Arezzo 05/08 May 2018

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Oroarezzo is the international exhibition of gold, silver and jewelry. It represents a point of reference for all business operators, wholesalers and importers of jewelry, both from both traditional and emerging markets.

On display are a wide range of jewelry that highlights the trends of the jewelry made ​​in Italy, skillfully combine innovation, research and design.

Choose an international restaurant in Arezzo: Bistrot Café PARIS AREZZO.

Book now Hotel Aretino: +39 0575 294003

Business Rooms, Suite with jacuzzi, apartments in the centre of Arezzo in Hotel Portici **** Arezzo

San Giuseppe Hospital Arezzo

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A 200 m dal Hotel Aretino*** -  richiedi la nostra tariffa convenzionata per la sistemazione alberghiera al 0575.294003  
L’attività è rivolta al trattamento medico delle patologie dell’apparato circolatorio, con particolare riferimento alle flebopatie ed arteriopatie periferiche, primitive e secondarie ad altre patologie a rischio; il settore rappresenta uno dei piu storicamente significativi per la Casa di Cura e per il quale lo staff ha maturato un elevato livello di competenza universalmente riconosciuto.
Particolare valenza assume il trattamento, sia in costanza di ricovero che in ambito ambulatoriale, delle ulcere croniche vasculopatiche che seguono protocolli consolidati che assicurano elevate percentuali di successo.

Pietro L'Aretino

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" In art, immorality cannot exist.

Art is always sacred"
- August Rodin

To render Aretino’s Sonneti lussuriosi into English (or, for that matter, into almost any other language) with anything approaching literalness would be to achieve a work of unredeemed pornography; and while pornography undoubtedly has its value in this republic, it is not the end sought here, which is to gve as accurate as possible an idea of Aretino’s work. Such a procedure on the part of the translator would, accordingly, be an unfaithfulness to his author; it would be, as translators too often do, to betray the latter by a false faithfulness. For the Italian, in portraying the nuances and delicate shadings of debauchery, possesses certain advantages which are not to be found outside the Latin dialects. Take the Seven Freudian Sins and set them to music and the effect is rather different from that attained by our harsh nordic gutturals. Even the Germans, whom we may sometimes take to have been the inventors of sensual expression in paint and words, have found this to be true. Upon reading over my own version, I am convinced it is nearer the spirit of the original than any of the alleged literal renderings I have seen. In view of the invincible pruderies (“retincenes is the college professor’s word) of our English speech, it is as faithful as it feasibly could be. Incidentally, it is better poetry.


The Saracen Joust Arezzo June 2019

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Saracen Joust 

A year is passed and June has come. On the third Saturday of June there will take place agreat medieval festival, very famous in Italy: La Giostra del Saracino or the Saracen Joust ofArezzo.

The Saracen Joust takes places twice per year (June and September) in Piazza Grande, beautiful square in Arezzo. This year it’s on June 19th at 9.30 pm. But the festival starts on Friday 11th when Captains take the inaugural oath and the draw of sequence of carriere(charges). Every day from Saturday to Tuesday there are the heats around 7.30 pm.

The Joust animates Arezzo for one week. In the tournament the 8 jousters or knights of the 4 Quarters of Arezzo (Porta del Foro, S. Andrea, Porta Santo Spirito and Porta Crucifera) fight each other to win the golden lance. Every jouster gallops his horse with wooden lance against the Buratto and its shield. The Burattto is an armor-plated dummy holding a shield that is divided into sectors corresponding to points. The jouster has two runs along the lizza (jousting track) that runs obliquely in Piazza Grande. The Joust is won by the Quarter whose jousters obtained more points. The price is a golden lance.

The day of the Joust starts at 7.00 am with the first mortar shot and at 11.00 am the second one announces the parade of the colorful procession with over 300 costume characters. At7.30 pm there is the blessing of the jousters and then the parade goes from the Duomo to Piazza Grande. At 9.30 pm, just before the start of the tournament, there is the flag-waversperformance.

The Saracen Joust is certainly a beautiful medieval festival, whose origins date back to 16th century, that animates Arezzo every year with colors, sounds and flavors coming directly from the Middle Ages.



Sleep in Tuscany, choose Hotel Aretino on via Francescana or Germanica

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I discovered the existence of the Via Romea Germanica in June, staying in a small village that is located along the way and where they sold the guide ..

A journey that unites the Brenner in Rome in Italy, a great journey through places to strangers.

Nature, culture, gastronomy. A real MERAVIGLIA. The entire route starts from the north of Germany, was the abbot Alberto da Stade in the second half of 1200 to walk the path from Stade (in Germany) to Rome and left a manuscript in which, in the form of dialogue, tells a lot detailed the best routes to reach Rome.

Unfortunately I did not have the 46 days necessary to cover the entire route from the Brenner to Rome (about 1000km), so I was content to take a small but beautiful stretch that goes from Forlì to Arezzo, about 180 km in a week. In this path you pass the mythical Passo Serra that was very popular over the centuries by pilgrims and travelers who walked the Via Romea that was in fact called the "Via Romea dell'Alpe di Serra". In the Serra Alps I opted for a variant of the route, instead of going through the Valle Santa, I decided to reach the sanctuary of La Verna.

There is a beautiful site:

And an excellent guide: The Via Romea Germanica published by Terre di Mezzo


Difficulty level

The stages I have covered have all been very different from each other.

To face a journey, however, you must always be well trained.

The risk is not to fully enjoy the experience, to get injured, ruin the journey and bring home a bad memory. In this section the climb to the Serra Pass is undoubtedly the most demanding part. I will speak later on every single stage. The route is well marked, but I have lost a couple of times.

Where to sleep on the Via Romea Germanica?

Along the way there are several villages that offer various lodgings, B & B, farmhouses, hotels, see Hotel Aretino in Arezzo.

Always better to contact them in time because I happened to find several closed and in Santa Sofia the hostel was full for a congress. Then if you also contact the parishes should offer hospitality. But always better to make a phone call.

Day 1 Forlì-Cusercoli

Km: 28.3 (I made about 35 because I got lost ...)

Difficulty: long but easy

Difference in height: 360 m ascent down 270 m

Road: dirt 52% - Asphalt: 48%


I leave Forlì at 7, I stayed at the B & B Terrace of Olives, very close to the start of the journey, in front of the church of Ronco. The atmosphere is ghostly, it's humid, drizzling and I wonder ... "but who made me do it?". But after a while I was forwarded in the path I'm happy to have left, because I meet many animals, deer, hares, pheasants, squirrels. A show.

You walk along the river Ronco quite a bit, then you go into the countryside. I can get lost, and I realize it only after almost an hour of walking, so I lose some time.

In Fratta Terme begins the Apennines. The places are very beautiful. In Meldola I stop for a sandwich and then leave. In the afternoon arrival in Cusercoli. A very picturesque village. I am housed in the parish rectory. I know Signora Paola who takes care of the parsonage and who looks after two gentlemen over ninety who are happy to have a chat with me. The only pizzeria in the village is closed because it's Monday and I'm so hungry ... I save the kiosk of Grazia, an extra-luxury kiosk that makes the typical tortello slab stuffed with pumpkin and potatoes. Really good! I advise!

2nd day Cusercoli-Santa Sofia

Km: 20.5

Difficulty: medium

Difference in height: ascent 680 m downhill 550 m

Road: dirt 45% - Asphalt: 55%

Today the route is a bit more challenging because there is a bit 'of difference in level compared to yesterday's stage. I leave at 8 from Cusercoli. I walk along the beautiful little paths in the hills, through picturesque abandoned villages. Step Civitella and then Galeata. At Pianetto, fraction of Galeata, there is a ruined castle, very fascinating, the path passes right next to it. After a few kilometers I arrive in Santa Sofia, called the little Florence. Accommodation at the Youth Hostel, located in an old palace in the historic center. Ceno all'Antica Osteria del Borgo, a really nice place. The staff is very kind and even the dishes are good. I retire to my apartments early because I am destroyed, but first I fall in love with a micro-library located outside the hostel where you can pick up and store books. I want one even in front of my clinic.


3rd day Santa Sofia - Bagno di Romagna

Km: 24.3

Difficulty: demanding (in my opinion not so much, the difference in level was distributed homogeneously)

Difference in height: ascent 920 m downhill 640m

Road: dirt 50% - Asphalt: 50%

Good luck!