The timed-entry admission only lets you spend about 30 minutes in front of Piero della Francesca’s “Legend of the True Cross,” but that is reason enough to come to Arezzo. One of the greatest artists of the Renaissance painted one of the world’s greatest fresco cycles, in a league with the Sistine Chapel, between 1452 and 1466. The 10 panels are remarkable for their grace, narrative detail, compositional precision, perfect perspective, depth of humanity, and dramatic light effects—“the most perfect morning light in all Renaissance painting,” wrote art historian Kenneth Clark. The full religious significance of the story may escape you, but with stalwart knights and fair ladies, the scenes seem like a medieval romance. The beauty is in the details: heaving bosoms, pouty lips, and dreamy eyes, along with some wonderful ancient and medieval finery. You may have seen these frescoes in the film The English Patient, when Kip hoists Hana up to the frescoes by means of ropes and pulleys; we see her expressions of delight and wonder as she comes face to face with Piero’s colorful ladies and gents. You’ll feel the same, even when earthbound and jostling for a good look with your co-viewers.
Basilica di San Francesco
Piazza San Francesco
Our Rating Hours Mid-Mar–Oct, Mon–Fri 9am–7pm, Sat 9am–5:30pm, Sun 1–6pm; Nov–mid-Mar, Mon–Fri 9am–6pm, Sat 9–5:30pm, Sun 1–5:30pm Phone 0575-352-727 Prices Della Francesca cycle 8€, 5€ students and children under 17 Web site Basilica di San Francesco Other Timed-entry tickets (30 min) only; reservations required by phone, website, or in person
MapPiazza San Francesco Arezzo
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.