Tuscany is an area that has way too many exciting, beautiful and historical places to visit in a month, never mind a long weekend, but I tried to pack in as much as possible in a 3 day weekend in Tuscany. And so I needed a base from which to see Pisa, Florence and Siena as well as find some countryside peace. I stayed at the Montelucci Country Resort about 10 kilometres from Arezzo, and I only mention it because it had stunning hilltop views over the surrounding Tuscan farmland, as well as a slightly tricky and treacherous drive up to the medieval farm.
This way on the way down the hill to Arezzo, and rushing a little, I managed to drive my rental car off the side of the hill - it's really only the tree that the car is rested against that stopped the car and me inside it, from rolling down the steep hill. The car was pulled out unharmed and I went on my way (much more carefully).
The city is one of the less well-known of the historical Tuscan cities, but deserves a lot more attention. Pisa, Florence and Siena are undeniably beautiful, but are crowded and overpriced after so much tourism. Arezzo provides the patient and adventurous explorer with the chance to see the same architectural and cultural beauty but sharing it with far fewer people.
The city was also the central location for the Italian film 'Life is Beautiful' (La Vita es Bella) which was set during WWII Italy. There are some plaques and film history in the museums and squares of the city and many places are easily recognisable.
Like any city in Tuscany, food and drink play a major part in the lives of the people who live here. And so you can find exquisite pizzas and pastas here, with flavours that are more subtle and natural than the sauces you find in Italian reproductions in most of Western Europe.
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