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Piazza Grande (Arezzo)

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza Grande, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"To fully appreciate the beauty of Piazza Grande in Arezzo, visit on the first Sunday of the month when the Antique Fair fills the square, offering a unique blend of history and local culture. For the best photographs, head to the steps of Santa Maria della Pieve during golden hour, when the light casts a warm glow on the historic facades."

What is Piazza Grande (Arezzo)?

Piazza Grande, often called the Piazza Vasari, is the most noble medieval square in Arezzo, Tuscany, and a true testament to the city's historical significance. With its unusual trapezoidal shape and a slight slope, it's a feast for the eyes and a hub of cultural activity. Here, where the past meets the present, one can imagine the footsteps of ancient citizens mingling with the lively chatter of today's locals and visitors.

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The square is surrounded by an impressive architectural ensemble: medieval towers, Renaissance palaces, and a stunning apse of Santa Maria della Pieve. With these timeless structures, Piazza Grande is a living museum, showing off the splendor of different eras side by side. It's more than just a square; it's the heart of the city, pulsating with life during market days or the famous Saracen Joust, a historical reenactment that takes locals and tourists back in time.

History of Piazza Grande (Arezzo)

The history of Piazza Grande stretches back centuries. The square has been the center of public life since the days of the Etruscans, who originally founded Arezzo. It was during the Middle Ages, however, that Piazza Grande began to take on its current identity. Throughout the centuries, it witnessed countless gatherings, markets, and even revolts—it's a canvas painted with the many historical layers of Arezzo.

Renowned Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari, a native son of Arezzo, left a significant mark on the square. In the 16th century, he designed the Loggia on its southern edge, elevating the elegance of the existing structures with his own distinctive architectural flair. This addition helped to perfect the amalgamation of architectural styles representing different epochs that we cherish today.

The idiosyncratic slope of the square was an intentional design, not only aiding in the collection and drainage of rainwater but also providing an optimal view for spectators of the tournaments and games held throughout Arezzo's storied past. It was also a space where justice was administered and where the citizens gathered to exercise their political rights. Stepping into Piazza Grande, you're stepping into centuries of historical evolution.

Why is Piazza Grande (Arezzo) Important?

Piazza Grande is vital to understanding Arezzo and its historical significance. It's a symbol of civic pride and community spirit that has prevailed through the ages. The square is not only a place of convergence for the city's social and cultural events, but it also tells the story of Arezzo's architectural and political history.

The events hosted here, like the biannual Saracen Joust, attract attention from all over the globe, fostering an appreciation for local traditions and history. When you witness these events firsthand, you're participating in a ritual that Aretines have cherished for generations, imbibing the essence of their heritage. Moreover, the antique fair held here monthly is one of Italy's largest, turning the Piazza into a treasure trove of historical artifacts and vintage charm.

On a more subtle note, Piazza Grande also plays a crucial role in maintaining the social fabric of Arezzo. It is a common ground where individuals from different walks of life cross paths, exchange ideas, and share experiences. This social significance coupled with its historical and architectural splendor makes Piazza Grande an intrinsic part of Arezzo's identity.


Things to Do & See at Piazza Grande (Arezzo)

At Piazza Grande, every visit holds the potential for a new discovery. You can start with a stroll around the square, taking in the historic buildings like the Palazzo delle Logge designed by Vasari. The slope of the piazza, remember, offers a unique perspective; stand at the bottom and gaze up to appreciate the towering buildings' full splendor.

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Art aficionados should not miss out on visiting the nearby churches and museums; the frescoes and the art pieces there speak volumes about the rich cultural past of Arezzo. For those who prefer a more tactile experience, the monthly antique fair comes with the added joy of browsing through myriad stalls, each one offering a tiny piece of history. And if your timing is right, witnessing the Saracen Joust is an unforgettable experience; the pageantry and competitive spirit are palpable.

After soaking up the historical ambience, it's time to indulge in the local cuisine. Try some of the trattorias surrounding the piazza that serve typical Tuscan dishes – ribollita, pappa al pomodoro, and perhaps a glass of local Chianti to complement your meal. As dusk falls, the natural thing to do is to find a spot to sit back, maybe at one of the cafés, and watch the square illuminate, bringing a different, more intimate character to life. In these quieter moments, Piazza Grande whispers the secrets of Arezzo's past, just for you to hear.

Frequently asked questions

What is the history of Piazza Grande in Arezzo?

Piazza Grande, also known as Piazza Vasari, is the most historic square in Arezzo with origins dating back to the medieval period. It has been the center of the city's social and political life for centuries, showcasing a blend of architectural styles from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

What are the main architectural highlights of Piazza Grande (Arezzo)?

The main architectural highlights of Piazza Grande include the Palazzo delle Logge designed by Giorgio Vasari, the 14th-century Palazzo dei Priori, the Gothic-style apse of the Santa Maria della Pieve church, and the medieval towers that contribute to the square's unique character.

Can visitors attend events at Piazza Grande in Arezzo?

Yes, visitors can attend various events at Piazza Grande throughout the year. The square hosts the famous antique fair, the 'Fiera Antiquaria', as well as the medieval jousting tournament, 'Giostra del Saracino', which both attract many spectators and participants.

Are there guided tours available for Piazza Grande (Arezzo)?

Guided tours are often available for Piazza Grande and the surrounding historical center of Arezzo. These tours can provide visitors with in-depth historical context and anecdotes that enrich the experience of visiting this iconic square.

What dining or shopping options are available around Piazza Grande (Arezzo)?

Piazza Grande is surrounded by numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops that offer a variety of dining and shopping options. Visitors can enjoy traditional Tuscan cuisine, shop for local crafts, or browse the artifacts available during the antique fair.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza Grande, 52100 Arezzo AR, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps