Arezzo is a great Etruscan and Roman city and a territory vaunting a wealth of historical, artistic and cultural sites. It is home to illustrious men such as Guido Monaco, Masaccio, Mecenate, Michelangelo, Piero della Francesca, Petrarca, Paolo Uccello, Pietro Aretino, Vasari and, believe it or not, many more! Some of their masterpieces can be admired today thanks to the ample museum network in Arezzo.
Here, we point out the 5 city’s main museums:
Gaio Clinio Mecenate Archaeological Museum
The museum is housed in the former monastery of San Bernardo, built upon the ruins of a Roman amphitheater, whose vaults are visible on the first floor. The ground floor is in topographical order, while in the first floor there are special sections (paleontology, prehistory, numismatics) and some private collections belonging to citizens of Arezzo. The collection goes from prehistory to the Etruscan and Roman times; do not miss the "coralline vases", a unique ceramic technique that made Arezzo famous since ancient times.
The museum is located in Palazzo Bruni Ciocchi, also known as the Customs Palace, one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in the city. The museum covers three floors with a roof garden on the first floor; the old lemon-house (limonaia) now houses the restoration workshop.
Here you’ll find masterpieces by Margarito, the most important local painter of the thirteenth century, and frescoes by Spinello Aretino; a vast space is devoted to the Renaissance, with a special focus on the influence that Piero della Francesca had among local artists; well documented are the famous terracottas by the Della Robbia family, as well as the work of one of the most illustrious men of Arezzo, Giorgio Vasari (one piece in particular: The feast for the wedding of Esther and Ahasuerus, 1548). The sculpture dates from the Middle Ages to the fifteenth century.
The Diocesan Museum was recently renamed Mudas Museum, on the occasion of its transfer to the Bishop's Palace of Arezzo. It houses important paintings of the fifteenth-nineteenth centuries, three large and rare wooden crucifixes, a fresco by Bartolomeo della Gatta and an important collection of works by Vasari.
“Una casa principiata in Arezzo, con un sito da fare orti bellissimi nel borgo di san Vito, nella migliore aria della città” ("A house started in Arezzo, with a site perfect for beautiful gardens, in the neighborhood of San Vito, in the best air of the city"): with these words Giorgio Vasari describes his house, bought in 1541. He personally took care of the restoration and the frescoes found in the rooms, but he had hardly any time to live there due to his frequent sojourns in Florence and Rome. The house has two floors, several frescoed rooms and a small garden.