Yet another Tuscany: that of Arezzo and Val di Chiana. The city tour starts in the elegant Corso Italia. At the bottom of one of the symbols of Arezzo, the steeple of the Pieve of Santa Maria, one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Tuscany. Coming out of the side door of the church come out in Via Seteria, ahead for the spectacular Piazza Grande, the Giostra del Saracino stage (the third Sunday of June and 1 September). It’s here that it takes place the Antiques Fair (first Sunday of every month starting on the preceding Saturday), one of the oldest and most important in Italy.
Fill the eyes of this beautiful square with the Romanesque apse of the church, the Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici and the Logge by Vasari with the shops of wooden portals.
In the church of San Francesco awaits the splendid cycle of frescoes the “Legend of the Cross” by Piero della Francesca and in front of the Caffè dei Constanti, the historian cafe resumed several times in Benigni’s film “La vita è bella”. Other must-stops, the church of San Domenico with the Crucifix by Cimabue and the Cathedral, which appears upward in all its solemnity.
Before leaving Arezzo we also recommend a visit to his Roman part, that the amphitheater, an arena large only slightly less than that of the Coliseum.
We are in a land of divine proportion landscapes made of ordered campaigns, wooded hills and beautiful towns like Cortona, Anghiari and Monte San Savino. We are in the land of Luca Signorelli and Piero della Francesca. And in Cortona, an ancient Etruscan town, stands a temple modulated on perfect Renaissance period, the church of Madonna del Calcinaio, about three kilometers from the town, built by Francesco di Giorgio Martini design with a Latin cross plan with octagonal dome.
It is worth climbing up to the Piazza della Repubblica which is overlooked by the Town Hall and the Palace of the Captain of the People, also called Palazzo Passerini. Within walking distance of Piazza Signorelli with its famous theater and front of this Taverna Pane e Vino (Piazza Signorelli 27 – tel. +39 0575 631010 – www.pane-vino.it – email@example.com) where enjoy crostini, bruschetta and excellent wines served under the brick vaults of the former wine cellar of a ‘300 building. Strictly Tuscan menu also at Ristorante Il Cacciatore (Via Roma 11/13 – tel. +39 0575 613780), the first restaurant opened in the medieval center of the city in 1904 and located in some rooms of the Palazzo Comunale. Today here Alessandro and the chef Orietta prepare the typical dishes: meats, cheeses, crostini, pici and pappardelle homemade, tagliate, Florentine and game to honor the name.
Anghiari also worth a stroll and stop for some shopping by Busatti in via Mazzini 12, which proposes fabrics, tablecloths, towels and handmade centerpieces.
Monte San Savino well as being the birthplace of the sculptor and architect Andrea Contucci, called Sansovino is now famous for herds of cattle whose meat is used for the Florentine steak. Stop by Le Delizie di Aldo (Piazza Gamurrini 29 – +39 0575 844098) to taste its meat and its sausages. Later, to dispose of, a nice walk to the course Sangallo, the main street of the village that you play with Foiano della Chiana palm guardian of beef and native pig breeds such as Chianina and Cinta Senese.
In a strategic location is the Azienda Agricola Fierli where, in addition to purchase local products from organic farming can be sampled in the sunny outdoor courtyard or in the large dining room on the second floor. In addition too there is the possibility of visiting the farms and also the online sale with delivery throughout Italy in just 24 hours (Via del Duca, 159 – Loc. Farniole, firstname.lastname@example.org).
(Photos in the text by Rosalia Chiarappa; for the cover photo and the gallery thanks to Domenico Zagaria)