A Tourist Friendly City
Arezzo makes a fantastic addition to any itinerary because of easy it is to navigate by car, train, bus or even on foot...this is a city made for slowing down your pace and just relaxing while on vacation.
Below we offer a few pointers on how to make the most of your time while including this special gem on your holiday tours.
Arriving by Car
Actually, nothing could be easier than getting to Arezzo by car. Coming from the north or the south, the Autostrada del Sole has an exit for Arezzo. It is about 11 km from the pay toll to the city center parking lot via an easy-to-navigate road (word of caution: watch the speed limits!)
If you are heading in from Siena, then you will first take the SS73 (also called the Raccordo Siena - Bettolle), which will connect to the Autostrada di Sole and then go north (direction Bologna or Milan) and exit at Arezzo. There are some panoramic alternatives, like taking the exit at Colonna di Grillo and heading in towards the southern landscape of Chianti (be sure to stop at Civitella In Val di Chiana) or exit at Rigomagno and make Lucignano one of your stops before (or after) visiting Arezzo.
Travel time is the same for all three options.
All options will leave you at the round-about right after the tollbooth. Follow indications as if you were going to the town “Bibbiena” until you see signs for the Parking Pietri. There is both paid and free parking in this area, and it is one of my personal favorites because it brings you very close to the historic center of the city. It has space for over 200 cars and you pay the minimum price (.70 cents an hour from 8 am to 8pm). An added plus: you are close to the free escalator which makes it easy to get to the top.
Good to know: You will find a WC at the top of the escalator when you park at Pietri (pay at the tourist office) or you can stop at the COOP Supermarket between the Autostrada and the parking lot and use the free bathrooms at the shopping center (Centro Commerciale Setteponti).
In the parking lot Tarlati, on via Guido Tarlati, 47 (not far from Pietri) you will find an area for those traveling with a camper...there are no hookups, but the spaces are extra large (4 x 8 meters) and they have a different fee, 5 Euros for the entire day. And it is less than 1 km from the city center (only 750 meters) on an un-trafficked road, thus perfect for a stroll into town.
Catching the Train
Another very easy way to arrive in Arezzo, especially if you are based in Florence or Rome, is to take the train, which has frequent runs to this little city. There is an Intercity which runs around 10 am or noon and it takes 40 mins leaving from the Firenze Rifredi train station for less than 12 Euros one way. More frequently are the regional trains (normal regional for 1 hour & 30 min or “veloce” regional with a travel time of about an hour) leaving from both the main Florence train station (SMN) and Campo di Marte. These both cost under 10 Euros.
There are also local trains for those who are based in Casentino or Cortona, which run regularly. You can refer to the official website for the train schedule which starts in Stia in Casentino Or you can refer to this official website for the train schedule which runs all the way to Perugia. For those staying in Cortona, you will want the Camucia-Cortona train station. The train (from Cortona) takes less than 20 minutes and costs less than 5 Euros one way.
In the City
Our Suggested Itinerary for seeing (almost) everything while in Arezzo
Though there are three train stations in Arezzo - you want to use the main train station which is called “Arezzo” (only Arezzo). This train leaves you at the base of the city (practically at the doorstep of the historic center), and though the walk is about 1 km all up hill, if you take it easy you can enjoy the entire city.
If instead you want to catch a bus, and then walk your way down the hill, you can go to Piazza Guido Monaco and catch the public transport “LFSC32”, which skirts its what all around the city borders and will leave you in front of the Cathedral.
There is a bike sharing program - however, it is mainly for the area outside of the historic center...basically because of the ups and downs in the center which are not conducive to using a bike. But if you are curious - and determined, you can refer to the official website for more information about the location of the bikes.