The Piazza Grande of Arezzo, also known as Piazza Vasari, stands on the area where – probably, – there was the Roman forum. It develops in a trapezoidal shape and has a very sloping surface. Because of the various changes suffered over the centuries, the Piazza has become a veritable anthology of architectural styles, ranging from Romanesque to Baroque.
The west side is characterized by both the Romanesque apse of the Pieve di Santa Maria, and the baroque Palazzo del Tribunale. On this side of the square there is a splendid public fountain, perhaps from the 16th century, and the elegant La Fraternita dei Laici, built on three different styles: Gothic in the lower part, Renaissance in the central and late Renaissance in the upper part.
The north side of the Piazza is dominated by the Palazzo delle Logge, designed in 1573 by Giorgio Vasari.
To the South-East stands the remarkable Palazzo Lappoli, composed of buildings of different heights and equipped with a wooden gallery.
To the south-west rises the tower-house of the noble Cofani family, also called the Cofani-Brizzolari, due to the merger between the Torre Faggiolana and the adjacent building.
Among the events that take place in the Piazza Grande, we remember the Giostra del Saracino, which recalls the medieval history of the city, with a contest between galloping horsemen and a historical procession composed of three hundred figures and flag bearers, as well as the monthly Antiquarian fair born in 1968 by Ivan Bruschi in which collectors from all over Italy meet to exhibit paintings, clocks, antique prints, books, fabrics and objects in copper or iron.
Annexed to the Cathedral are the premises of the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art and of the Capitular Archive (moved to Piazzetta del Seminario).