Stage 31 – Subbiano or Capolona – Arezzo – Subbiano and Capolona are divided only by the Arno: one on the left bank and the other on the right bank. From there, with an easy and short stage, you reach Arezzo, rich in history and art. The route is between cart roads and country paths, with few ups and downs. With this stage you leave Subbiano, to immediately enter another one, Capolona. Cross the Arno after Subbiano, pass under the SS 71, and continue near the river. It passes again under the SS 71 and continues on the SP dello Spicchio. Take the road that leads to the purification plants, a road that, after the last house, becomes CAI path no. 43; this enters a fine wood above the river; after the beautiful clearing in the middle of broom and olive groves you reach the Pieve di Sietina (worth a visit). (cyclists continue to the right on the Spicchio provincial road, then on Via Pieve a Sietina, up to Pieve a Sietina) Then continue towards Arezzo descending towards the Arno, which you cross on a comfortable footbridge. After crossing the river you reach Giovi-Ponte alla Chiassa, cross the railway line and reach the old route of the SS 71. Then you return to the open countryside on a beautiful cart track, reaching the town of Puglia, an ancient settlement on an isolated hill in the middle of the plain. (recommended for cyclists to enter the Strada Della Puglia and continue for 1.3 km). Leaving Puglia in the direction of Arezzo you pass on the Stradone di Cio, you pass the SP della Catona. Then after crossing several country roads you come across Via San Fabiano, and then Via Tarlati. You arrive close to the walls of the city of Arezzo, at Porta Stufi. You then arrive in the centre, in Piazza Duomo. A more environmental alternative is to go up to the park from Via San Fabiano, pass alongside the cemetery, follow the walls and go to Porta Stufi.
31 – Points of Interest
Arezzo – The city is located at the confluence of three valleys: to the north of the city is the beginning of the Casentino, a valley followed by the first stretch of the Arno; to the northwest is the Upper Valdarno, also followed by the Arno in the ArezzoFlorence stretch; to the south is the Val di Chiana, a very fertile plain obtained through the reclamation of the pre-existing marshes, whose most important waterway is the Maestro della Chiana Canal. Arezzo was then one of the main Etruscan cities, and most likely the seat of a “lucumonia”. During the Roman era, especially during the Republican period, Arezzo became a very important symbol of Roman expansion to the north, and a defensive bastion of the nascent empire, thanks to its strategic location, which made it a necessary stop for anyone wishing to reach the increasingly powerful city on the Tiber. On the border between the dominions of the Goths and the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna, it witnessed bitter clashes between the two factions, and was one of the first centres occupied by the Lombards. Charlemagne’s Franks favoured relations with what they considered the highest local power: the bishop, to whom they attributed the title of Earl, and many times imposed their own representative. Under the protection of the bishop, and the privileges conferred on him by the Ottonians of Saxony and the Hohenstaufen, a large number of abbeys also developed in the Arezzo countryside, contributing to the reconstruction of a system of exchanges, and the beginnings of a cultural environment. Worth seeing: the Cathedral, a Gothic church with a fresco of Mary Magdalene by Piero della Francesca and stained glass windows by Guillaume de Marcillat; the Church of St. Dominic, founded in 1275 and completed at the beginning of the 14th century, with a wooden Crucifix by Cimabue; the Basilica of St. Francis, with the Bacci Chapel, which contains the fresco The Legend of the True Cross, by Piero della Francesca; Santa Maria della Pieve (the Parish Church), with a 59 metre high tower also known as “the bell tower of the hundred holes”; in the archivolt of the main portal you can admire the polychrome stone sculptural complex from the 12th century, depicting the Cycle of the months, and inside, a polyptych by Pietro Lorenzetti; the Church of Santa Maria a Gradi, designed by Ammannati with frescoes and choir stalls from the 17th century and an ancient crypt; the Church of the Santissima Annunziata, known as “della Madonna delle Lacrime”, with works by Giorgio Vasari and Pietro da Cortona, frescoes by Spinello on the façade, and a 14th century portal; Santa Maria delle Grazie, a 15th-century late Gothic sanctuary with a Renaissance portico by Benedetto da Maiano, a high altar in marble and glazed terracotta (late 15th century), and unusual work by Andrea della Robbia depicting the Madonna and Child between two angels in the tympanum; Saints Lorentino, Pergentino, Donato and Bernardino in the niches, the Pietà on the antependium; and inside, a fresco by Parri di Spinello (Madonna della Misericordia).