Arezzo was heavily damaged during the raids in WWII. Luckily there are still some buildings of historic value standing and which draw a good number of tourists visiting the region. The fact it is easily reached from other towns such as Florence and Perugia, added to its accommodation and good value places to eat, plus it being a perfect base from where to explore other towns in the Casentino region or Sansepolcro make Arezzo an popular spot. Piazza Grande is flanked by restaurants and wine bars with many great places to sit and watch the world go by. You will be blown away by beauties such as those by Piero della Francesca as well as splendid architecture like the Pieve di Santa Maria. In the Etruscan period it became an important port where trade flourished. Later on, under the Romans’ rule it went on to be a thriving settlement. In the 10th century Arezz became a free republic. When the power struggle between the Ghibellines and Guelphs began it took sides with the first fraction. However, it fell to the Florentines, which sunk Arezzo into a long period of poverty. Only thanks to the unification of Italy and the railway line in the 19th century did Arezzo rise again. Important characters from the city are Petrarch, the laureate Renaissance poet, the great design brain behind the Uffizzi Gallery and the Palazzo dei Cavalieri, Giorgio Vasari, and Roberto Benigni, from a nearby village, who created and acted in Life is Beautiful. You will notice signs marking the locations which appear in the film wandering along the streets.