The most beautiful places in the Province of Arezzo



Tuscany is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Italy. World-famous cities of culture, a magnificent hinterland and endless beaches invite you to enjoy city breaks, beach holidays and short getaways. You won’t be shocked to hear that Tuscany is home to some of the most beautiful places in Italy. Scenic beauty far away from the vast urban hotspots awaits you in the charming Province of Arezzo in the far east of Tuscany, bordering the Marche and Emilia Romagna and home to deep valleys and imposing mountain ranges. You also get to visit the six most beautiful places in the Province of Arezzo, part of the private association “I borghi più belli d’Italia” that has become synonymous with unique insider tips.



Whether the town’’ name comes from the particular shape of the old castle (“castrum angulare”) or the gravel (“ghaia” in Italian) on which the town centre was built remains a mystery today, but Anghiari (approx. 5,800 inhabitants) with its magnificent view of the green Valtiberina valley is always worth a visit. The former site of the Battle of Anghiari, which Leonardo da Vinci immortalised in an unfortunately lost fresco, today exudes great medieval fascination. Numerous churches accompany your walk through the municipality, including Badia di San Bartolomeo. It was probably built in the 9th century and is considered the oldest church in Anghiari. Santa Maria delle Grazie, on the other hand, was only built in the 17th and 18th century, creating an exciting architectural counterpoint and is widely known for its glazed terracotta charm. The old defence walls can still be visited today. Behind them are numerous palaces and the old fortress which was extensively renovated almost 200 years ago.


Castelfranco di Sopra

The originally independent municipalities of Castelfranco di Sopra and Pian di Scò were merged to form Castelfranco Piandiscò on 1 January 2014. Still, “only” Castelfranco di Sopra (approx. 2,800 inhabitants) is one of the most beautiful places in Italy, and for good reason, of course. As soon as you enter the town, you are greeted by a huge 14th century tower which, like most of Castelfranco di Sopra, was designed and built by architect Arnolfo di Cambio at the end of the 13th century. Originally founded by the Republic of Florence as a military outpost, the town centre has an astonishingly uniform appearance with medieval charm, accompanied by various churches and palaces. The Chiesa di San Filippo Neri, for example, dates from later times but blends seamlessly into the architecture of Castelfranco. Just outside the town you can visit the Monastero di San Salvatore a Soffena with a church full of magnificent frescoes.




Loro Ciuffenna

The Latin word for laurel and a small local stream gave Loro Ciuffenna (approx. 5,800 inhabitants), which was probably already inhabited in Etruscan times, its name. Situated at the foothills of Mount Pratomagno and the River Arno, you can enjoy the unique beauty of the landscape. One of its special features is the “Balze”, a kind of mixture of clay and sandstone that creates spectacular rock formations. The town itself is also well worth a visit, especially the church of Santa Maria Assunta in the town centre. Its frescoes and the panel painting by Lorenzo di Bicci on a gold background are must-see. Santa Maria Assunta, like all the other churches in Loro Ciuffenna, has distinct Romanesque features. The same goes for San Giusto with its Stations of the Cross painting cycle or the Pieve di San Pietro a Gropina, considered a Romanesque masterpiece, a national monument with basilica charm, medieval capitals and an impressive pulpit.



Lucignano (approx. 3,400 inhabitants) also has an illustrious history dating back to Etruscan times and even the Villanova culture, before a Roman military camp was established here and the town eventually a pawn of Arezzo, Florence and Siena in the Middle Ages. Today, Lucignano is best known for its many churches, most notably the late 14th century Collegiata di San Michele Arcangelo, located in town centre on the former site of a triangular Roman fortified tower. Several magnificent paintings for a home here after the expansion in the 16th and 17th century. The imposing Museo Comunale awaits you in the town hall, the former Palazzo Pretorio. The city museum extends over four halls of the old palace. Cycles of frescoes, paintings and statues take you on a journey through Lucignano’s multifaceted history. In comparison, the old defence tower Torre delle Monache looks almost rustic, yet it, well, towers majestically over the Borgo. A short tour of the still almost completely preserved city wall with its four gates and the never-completed Fortezza Medicea defence complex is also worthwhile.



The Casentino is one of the most beautiful mountain valleys in Tuscany, surrounded by splendid nature and situated far away from major transport routes. Here lies the insider tip Poppi (approx. 6,100 inhabitants) that, despite its remoteness, played an important role in the conflict between Arezzo and Florence in the 13th and 14th century as the seat of the noble Guidi family. Castello dei Conti Guidi, the castle of the aristocratic princes, can be seen from afar. Situated on a hill, the late 12th century complex dominates the town and served as inspiration for Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. It has been renovated many times over the years and thus, is well preserved, accompanied by thick walls, a moat, a mighty tower and a library with valuable medieval manuscripts. There is even a small chapel with a cycle of frescoes by Giotto’s pupil Taddeo Gaddi. The centrally located Propositura dei Santi Marco e Lorenzo church with spectacular works by Morandini and Ligozzi and the Eremo di Camaldoli hermitage of the Camaldolese order with the church of San Salvatore, which has been rebuilt several times and is now adorned with three statues, are well worth a visit.





Many of the most beautiful Places in the province of Arezzo can look back on a long and illustrious history. The roots of Raggiolo (approx. 850 inhabitants) also reach far back into the past. The Lombards founded the municipality around the 7th century, and a castle became the centre of activity in later years before the Republic of Florence conquered Raggiolo and completely destroyed the fortress. Nevertheless, the picturesque village in the Casentino has managed to retain its original character. Countless stone buildings, some of which merge seamlessly into one another, guide you through the centre. The 13th century church of San Michele Arcangelo awaits you there, shining in its former splendour despite extensive later renovations. Numerous figures and canvas paintings accompany your tour of the impressive building with its expressive campanile. The history of the village is brought to life next door in the Ecomuseo della Castagna. The old mill is also part of this complex. And yet, above all, it is the unique atmosphere as you stroll through narrow, makeshift cobbled alleyways and your gaze falls on the next wooded hill that makes Raggiolo so beautiful, so special.


The medieval town centres and the magnificent, hilly to mountainous landscape all around seemingly blur together when you visit the most beautiful places in the Province of Arezzo. They are characterised by ancient conflicts, are often rich in churches and old fortifications, and combine historical charm with a special atmosphere and a wonderful sense of secrecy. This somewhat different side of Tuscany, far away from the sea and major cultural centres, allows you to experience the roots of the region first hand. Your authentic holiday in the heart of Tuscany cannot come soon enough!

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