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Arezzo is a beautiful city in Tuscany, and like the rest of the region it offers a spectacular scenes of medieval buildings and harmonious architecture, right in the middle of four gorgeous natural valleys. 

Among the main attractions are the Duomo, with the frescos from Piero della Francesca, Cimabue's Crucifix, Santa Maria della Pieve, with its tower that is 59 meter high, and many other churches. But, the true beauty of Arezzo is its simplicity and elegance, which is a acknowledged throughout Tuscany, where each city competes with the others regarding their beauty. Anyway, while there, it is definitely worth stopping to visit the Roman Amphitheatre and the house of Francesco Petrarca, by many considered the second most important Italian poet after Dante Alighieri. 

Arezzo's typical regional food products are based on Tuscan fare:

Tuscan food is a triumph of nature; simplified country cooking, it lacks imagination, but expresses an almost mystical symbiosis between a people and their land. The elaborations exported to France by the Medici are long gone and mostly forgotten. Also vanishing, sadly, are the inspired dishes that used to take cheerful Tuscan mammas all morning to create. But the basics are still there: country bread baked in wood-fired ovens and the emerald-green extra-vergine olive oil that combines so well in bruschetta and pane unto; exquisite vegetables and greens that make a minestrone easy (Tuscans have always been more resourceful with hearty thick soups than pasta); the rosemary, garlic, onion, sage, basil, bay leaves, and tarragon that heighten flavour; and, of course, the bean, so adored that when detractors couldn't think of anything worse they called Tuscans mangiafagioli (bean eaters).

Tuscans are big meat eaters and Tuscan food is greatly characterized by grilled or roasted meats: chicken, pork, duck, pigeon and Florence's legendary bistecca alla fiorentina (hefty slab of Chianina beef - a real one weighs about 1kg with bone and all)). Boar and game birds are also prized in this most wooded Italian region. Some of Italy's tastiest Pecorino cheese comes from sheep grazed in the stark hills of Siena.

Today Arezzo's economy is very successful and is based mainly on gold, therefore it is possible to find many workshops and jewelry stores. 

"Tuscan people? Arrogant and rude" ... word of the French newspaper "Le Figaro" ...

What can I say? It colud be, maybe they're right ... but history teaches us something else, starting from one of the basic points of table manners ... the use of a fork. This "tool" did not receive a great success in Italy and in Europe, and only in Florence was welcomed. 

Proof of this is the attempt from Catherine de 'Medici to make her husband Henry II of France and other diners try the unusual piece of cutlery ... the picture given to us by historians is hilarious ... "In bringing the fork to his mouth, they protruded on the plate with the neck and body ... it was great fun to see them eat, because they dropped on the plate, on the table and on the ground, as much as they could put in their mouth ".... so just to inform ... the first version of "Etiquette" was written around 1555 by Monsignor Giovanni della Casa, Catholic Archbishop of Borgo San Lorenzo ... A Tuscan, just to be clear …

AREZZO - visit the Etruscan city during the Saracen Joust... Are you a warrior ?... this is your trip ....

 

 

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SANTUARIO DELLA VERNA - CAMALDOLI

Located 40 miles from the historic center of Arezzo, in less than one hour by car from our hotel, deep in the splendor of our forests in Casentino, you will find one of the best places in the whole province of Arezzo: the Sanctuary of La Verna. Located on the top of Monte Penna, part of the Tuscan Apennines, the sanctuary is built at the height of 1128 meters above sea level and is still a popular pilgrimage site. Its popularity is due to the close link with the cult of Saint Francis. It is said that in the spring of 1213, St. Francis of Assisi was traveling with Brother Leo in Montefeltro area, when he heard music coming from the castle of San Leo. As he approached, he saw a party in the square and, seeing it as an ideal opportunity to spread the Gospel, he jumped over a wall and sang a love song. Listening to him in the audience was the Count of Chiusi in Casentino, Orlando Catani, who was deeply impressed by the words of St. Francis and he wanted to talk with him. The sermon of St. Francis enlightened him so much that he wanted to thank him, offering him the gift of the Sanctuary of La Verna, that at that time was his property, "I have in Tuscany a devoted mountain which is called the mountain of Vernia, which is a very lonely and savage place and it's suited to the ones who wish to do penance in a place faraway from people, or for those who want to stay alone. If you like it, I will gladly give it to you and your mates for the health of my soul. "St. Francis gladly accepted and the Sanctuary of La Verna, as well as becoming a destination for many periods of his retirement, was also the place where, in the summer of 1224, he received the stigmata. Since then the popularity of the Verna has never known a period of crisis and is still a sacred place of pilgrimage.

HOW TO GET TO THE SANCTUARY OF VERNA

If you do not have a car, you can easily reach the Sanctuary of La Verna from the center of Arezzo by public transport. From Arezzo railway station, you need to take a train to Bibbiena and then a bus to take you to Chiusi della Verna, the nearest village. From the town, you should get to the Sanctuary on foot, as did the pilgrims of the old days, by the ancient road dell'Ansilice: it surely will be worth!

ART

The Sanctuary of La Verna offers so much from the atristic point of view. Inside the Sanctuary, you can admire one of the most important works by Andrea della Robbia, one of the leaders of the Della Robbia family, famous sculptors and potters lived in 1400. At La Verna you will find about one-third of the entire artistic heritage left to us by Andrea della Robbia, among them the Annunciation, located in the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, along with the Nativity and the Ascension. Other masterpieces can be traced in the adjoining church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, not so famous, but definitely worthy of attention. The Sanctuary of La Verna also houses an interesting museum (admission free, 10,00-12,00 hours / 13.00 to 16.00), which includes significant paintings from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, including paintings by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, and a curious Pharmacy.

NATURE

In addition to being the heart of the Franciscan religious, La Verna is also an ideal destination for nature lovers, or those who simply want to get away from the gray of the city. Immersed in the National Park of Casentino Forests, the Sanctuary of La Verna is surrounded by lush greenery and breathtaking scenery. There is possible to make a leap of nature through hiking in the woods, and come with a path that take about 40 minutes to get the summit of Monte Penna, where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the park, of Romagna and of Lake Ridracoli. A perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature and with yourself! Another must-see is the Sasso Spicco della Verna, which leads down from the main square. Curious Case of nature, Sasso Spicco consists of a huge boulder that protrudes from the wall of rock, creating cracks and passages (walkable) into the mountain.

 

Just visit La Verna, which will welcome in a special atmposphere of spirituality, art and nature!

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Piero della Francesca revival: Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (c.1452 Church of San Francesco, Arezzo)

When in movies frescoes are shown ..... past and present come together .... and then Piero is revived ... as happens every time that someone admires his paintings. We are talking about Piero della Francesca’s fresco with Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, though represented with a different way. The difference is mainly related to the representative way of movies, far from Piero’s phlegm, but the link exists, as seen in the pictures below

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AREZZO - THE BEAUTY

This is one of the most famous scenes from the film shot in Arezzo, the English Patient, starring Hana, the nurse. One night she is led by her lover, an Indian Soldier, to see the paintings of a nearby church which, actually, are nothing more than the frescoes of Piero della Francesca depicting the "History of the True Cross" in basilica of San Francesco in Arezzo. Here, harnessed and hoisted on a rope, Hana can go literally flying from wall to wall of the apse, and in the light of a torch, get to a close view of the images. A really charming scene, an oasis in the heart of the story of infinity, where the charm of the great art is reflected in facial expression of Hana - the beautiful Juliette Binoche – in the freshness of his rapt glanec while she faces with the Beauty.

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