The heart and soul of the hill town of Arezzo is the large Piazza Grande. The sloped, irregularly shaped piazza is one of Tuscany's most beautiful and reminiscent of the piazza in Siena. Encased within the surrounding palaces and towers, it is the oldest square in Tuscany. The buildings are a blend of Medieval and Renaissance styles, melding into a beautiful effect of historic continuity.
Arezzo's Piazza Grande has been the center of civic, religious, and commercial life for centuries. The prominent palaces draw attention- the Palazzo del Comune, which still houses the city hall, the Palazzo del Popolo, and the Palazzo delle Logge, designed by Vasari. The Romanesque church of Santa Maria has a bell tower dates from 1330 and is known as "the tower of a hundred holes." There are elegant restaurants and cafes to enjoy, and this is the place to stroll and be seen, and watch the people parade that passes through.
The Piazza Grande is the scene of the monthly Arezzo Antique Market, a renowned fair with about 500 stalls selling quality antiques. It also hosts the annual Joust of the Saracen, an opulent event that pits horsemen against each other in a battle of skill that dates back to the Middle Ages. A costumed parade, fanfare and history are found here during that event.
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