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Church of San Francesco Arezzo

1,337 Reviews

Church of San Francesco Arezzo

1,337 Reviews
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Piazza San Francesco, Arezzo Italy
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Wine Tasting and Tour in an Organic Winery
Wine Tasting & Winery Tours

Wine Tasting and Tour in an Organic Winery

21 reviews
Indulging in local wine is a must when you visit Tuscany—and on this private tour, you’ll go behind-the-scenes at one of the region’s most scenic and esteemed wineries, located just on the outskirts of Arezzo. Learn about organic winemaking processes when you tour the vineyards, delve into the cellar to discover how wine is aged, and finally taste three organic wines, along with locally made pecorino cheese and cured meats.
US$32.85 per adult
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bruno l wrote a review Oct 2020
Singapore, Singapore750 contributions297 helpful votes
Actually you can only visit the church if you book for Capella Bacci - on the website and preferably a few days before your visit as there could be high demand, especially over weekend. The wall paintings in the Chapel are just incredibly beautiful
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Date of experience: August 2020
2 Helpful votes
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J C wrote a review Oct 2020
Flanders74 contributions52 helpful votes
In almost 3 weeks in Italy there were only a few places I regret entering, and it is one of them. We get only 30 minutes with the frescos (25 in fact, as we were the first group after a mass that got a little extended). There are no explanations with information what each mural is meant to represent. To my - untrained, admittedly- eye they looked similar to other frescos one may see all over Italy, often for free. Overall, it was a poorly spent -in my opinion- 8 EUR, which is too much for what is offered. (By the way, we paid 2 EUR for "reservation" even though we bought the tickets for the nearest tour, and entered right from the street. The "reservation" is obligatory, as the billboards inform. Why they do not just make the price 8 EUR, as opposed o 6 + 2?)
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Date of experience: October 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Marco_Polo499 wrote a review May 2020
Milan, Italy256 contributions458 helpful votes
St. Francis is an unassuming Franciscan church which contains a real trove of frescoes of the Renaissance period, many of which were painted by the most famous artists of that time. Among these, the frescoes painted by Piero della Francesca in the years 1452-1464 stand out: they narrate the "History of the true cross" and are one of the greatest masterpieces of painting of all time. In fact, they marked a turning point in the history of painting, to the point that the aesthetic ideas expressed in those frescoes are still a source of inspiration for today's painters: celebrated artists such as Botero, Balthus and Diego Rivera carefully studied them, and this is clearly perceived in their works. Piero painted all the walls of the Great Chapel (also called the Bacci chapel), located behind the high altar; in various squares he narrated both historical events and hagiographic legends concerning the Holy Cross: among the most famous scenes of the cycle are the veneration of the Queen of Sheba of the tree from which the wood of the Holy Cross will be taken (a legend) and the dream of the Holy Cross made by Emperor Constantine the night before his battle with Maxentius (a historical fact). Detailed information concerning these frescoes is posted at the entrance of the church (in Italian, English, French and German). In the past the colours of the fresco had dramatically paled because of the intense daylight coming through the windows, but about 30 years ago they were perfectly restored thanks to the generous sponsorship of a local bank (Banco dell'Etruria, a bank which was recently dismembered and partly dissolved due to a sad story now under scrutiny by the courts). Two other cycles of very remarkable frescoes were painted by Parri di Spinello Aretino (Parri, son of Spinello the Arezzian) who is sometimes referrred to as Parri Spinelli: he was born in Arezzo in 1387. The first cycle is in the Guasconi's chapel (also behind the high altar); the second one is located in the upper part of the left wall of the church; the latter cycle had originally been painted on the façade of the medieval Hospital Santo Spirito (Holy Spirit), a hospital also known by the name Santa Maria del Ponte (St. Mary of the Bridge); this hospital was located in the centre of Arezzo and operated continuously from 1216 until 1924; in the year 1880 the frescoes by Spinello were detached and transferred to their present position. The church hosts innumerable other frescoes by less important artists. Many of them have suffered the ravages of time and man and, for some, only fragments remain. My family is from Arezzo and my elders told me that, during the Napoleonic campaign of Italy, the French army used the church as a stable for their horses; it is also known that in the 19th century plans were made for transforming the church into a theatre ! From the architectural point of view the church is absolutely disappointing: it looks like a shed, since the interior is just an immense empty room; no decoration was ever applied to the façade, which has the masonry visible. The church is a National Monument. Access is 8 €, and reservations are required. Access to the church is free when the religious functions are in progress, but access to the chapels is not allowed at that time. The ticket office is in the basement of the church. Opening hours are: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 18:30; Saturday 9:00 to 13:30; Sunday from 13:00 to 17:30. Access is free on the first Sunday of each month. The best hours to visit are in the afternoon, when Piero's frescoes are strongly illuminated by daylight; in the rest of the church the lighting is dim and artificial.
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Date of experience: November 2019
3 Helpful votes
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penny_howard1 wrote a review Oct 2019
Florence, Italy272 contributions176 helpful votes
I have visited this Church a few times now but it never fails to amaze. Piero della Francesca was a true ground-breaking artist. whilst his figures might appear stilted and unreal to us, the colours and expressions that he created somehow bring the battle scenes and other stories related to the finding of the True Cross to life. The literary source for these images come from Jacopo of Voragine (now known as Varazze) in Liguria who pulls together stories from the Bible, the Apocrypha,& accounts of the lives of saints and martyrs. His book known as the Golden Legend was used as reference book by many Renaissance artists. These close fought battles reveal many macabre details on closer inspection!
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Date of experience: October 2019
1 Helpful vote
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cfuller603 wrote a review Oct 2019
Washington DC, District of Columbia961 contributions476 helpful votes
This was a revelation for me. Having studied the middle ages in France, I knew the importance of wall painting and sculpture to educate the illiterate masses. But until this church, I never understood that the walls were completely covered with frescoes and no space between. The frescoes here are fascinating, and the chapel well worth seeing and studying. My husband and I are museum goers, and we were here 1 1/2 hours.
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Date of experience: October 2019
2 Helpful votes
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