About the City
Arezzo constitutes an ideal setting for an effective educational program because of its size, location, and character: large enough to be a city for all intents and purposes and yet small enough to have a community feel. Everything important in Arezzo is within walking distance of the historic center. Located at the heart of Tuscany, the city is forty-five minutes train ride from Florence. It is easy to take day trips from Arezzo to Pisa, Lucca, Siena, Bologna, Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto, Rome, and many other important cultural and artistic sites. At the same time it is pleasant to return there in the evening and enjoy the priceless homey atmosphere of Arezzo, rarely matched by larger cities.
In addition to its historical and artistic significance, Arezzo has succeeded in preserving its identity without becoming a typical "tourist city." The inhabitants are friendly and hospitable, the city and its hilly and mountainous surroundings are among the most beautiful in Tuscany, the cuisine is considered one of the best in the country, the cultural and leisure life vivacious and intense. Arezzo is one of the most suitable places in Italy to learn and practice standard Italian, the language that Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch spoke and to which they gave literary dignity in the Fourteenth Century.
History, Art, Famous People
Founded 2,600 years ago by the Etruscans on a hill at the intersection of three valleys, Arezzo (100,000 inhabitants) is one of the most characteristic cities in central Italy. Rich in history, monuments, and intellectual and artistic tradition, Arezzo is the birthplace of numerous illustrious personalities such as the poets Francesco Petrarca and Guittone d'Arezzo, the humanist Leonardo Bruni, the scientist Francesco Redi, the painter, architect, and biographer Giorgio Vasari, the musician Guido d'Arezzo. The city holds artistic treasures of the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods. Among them, the fresco cycle of the "Legend of the Cross" by Piero della Francesca is considered one of the highest achievements of Italian art.
Traditions and Economy
Arezzo is famous for its medieval traditions of pageantry—La Giostra del Saracino—its international musical competitions—Il Concorso Polifonico—and its monthly Antique Fair—La Fiera dell’Antiquariato. It is also a very important industrial center, internationally renowned for artistic and industrial gold work, as well as for fashion and interior design.
The city is the home of the Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia of the University of Siena. The University of Rochester and the University of Siena have a formal agreement of mutual collaboration that includes faculty exchanges and special benefits for University of Rochester visiting students studying in Arezzo. The University of Rochester also interacts with other educational institutions in Arezzo: the Accademia Britannica, an Italian school that specializes in teaching Italian and English, and the Accademia dell'Arte, an American school dedicated to the performing arts. An international group of faculty and staff collaborate to make the Rochester Program in Italian Studies in Tuscany a unique and challenging experience. Donatella Stocchi-Perucchio, associate professor of Italian at the University of Rochester, and native of Arezzo, founded the program in 1993 and energetically continues to support it as academic director.
- Arezzo links in Italiano:
- Arezzo links in English:
- Accademia Britannica
- Accademia dell'Arte