Arezzo and Cortona are two interesting destinations located in the eastern part of Tuscany. Arezzo has been left with the artistic legacies of Giorgio Vasari and Pietro Della Francesca, which now comprise the main attractions of this town. Visitors may also find the town’s beautiful streets and places familiar given it was the filming location of many famous scenes from Roberto Benigni’s Oscar-winning movie, “Life is Beautiful”.
Cortona is one of the most ancient Etruscan towns in Tuscany and the home of the protagonist from the Francis Mayes book, “Under the Tuscan Sun”.
Before arriving in Arezzo, we will make a stop at a museum to see the Madonna del Parto fresco. The work was created in 1459 by Piero della Francesca for the Cappella di Monterchi.
We will then have the opportunity to visit the main monuments in Arezzo’s historic centre. In Basilica di San Francesco we can find The Legend of the True Crucifixion by Piero della Francesca, which was created in 1540 for the Bacci family. We will then wander across Piazza Grande where we can see Pieve di Santa Maria and the Palazzo dell Fraternita dei Laici, which has a large and working astronomical clock on its façade. From the Duomo of San Donato, we will pass the Basilica of San Domenico, where we will find the large Crucifix by Cimabue and the House Museum of Vasari, which was bought by the artist in 1511. If your visit falls on the first Sunday of the month, there will also by the opportunity to see the antiques market held in Piazza Grande.
Once in Cortona we will visit the Duomo, which features a twelfth century facade and a range of sixteenth and seventeenth century paintings inside. Then we will visit Santa Maria del Calcinaio and the church of San Domenico, which has a preserved altarpiece from the fifteenth century by Fra Angelico and Signorelli. The tour will conclude with a walk around the streets of the old town, where we can admire the surrounding Etruscan walls.
The tour Arezzo and Cortona lasts a full day (7-8 hours), and can be designed around your preferences.
FULL DAY TOUR (7/8 HOURS)
- Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis in San Donato
- Basilica of San Domenico
- The Church of San Domenico