Piazza Grande

See the city’s famous annual medieval jousting festival in this sloping red-brick plaza, which houses some of Arezzo’s most historic buildings.

At the center of Arezzo is the medieval square of Piazza Grande. Several iconic city landmarks, including the 13th-century Santa Maria della Pieve church and Cofani-Brizzolari palace, border the square. Enjoy a meal at a restaurant overlooking the plaza and admire the old stone walls of the surrounding structures.

Go on a guided tour of the city to learn the history of this piazza, which was once a thriving central market place. The square is also known for being one of the filming locations for the classic Italian movie Life is Beautiful.

Look to the west end of the square and admire the apse of the Santa Maria della Pieve church with its decorative arches and columns. Beside the church is another of the square´s historic buildings: the 14th-century Palazzo della Fraternità dei Laici. Stroll under the loggia at the northern edge of the plaza. This pretty feature was designed by Italian Renaissance writer, painter and architect Giorgio Vasari, who was also responsible for the Vasari Corridor in Florence.

Don’t miss the Torre Faggiolana, a medieval tower connected to the Cofani-Brizzolari palace. The piazza also contains the Episcopal Palace, identifiable by the 16th-century monument honoring the Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici that stands in front of the entrance. Other landmarks include the remains of the Communal Palace.

On the first Saturday of the month, the square hosts a large antique market. Search the stalls for old furniture, clocks, silverware and coins. One of the busiest and most exciting times of the year to come here is during the Saracen Joust, a historical re-enactment of a medieval jousting event that takes place twice a year, once in June and once in September. Watch as costumed jousters on horseback gallop around the square.

Walk east for 10 minutes from the Piazza Guido Monaco to reach Piazza Grande. The square is near many local landmarks, including the Cathedral of Arezzo and the Basilica of San Francesco.

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