My first visit to Arezzo was with a colleague. The town was close and neither of us had ever been there, so we grabbed a guidebook, jumped in her convertible and headed east. Upon arriving, we parked, strolled around the city center, poked our heads into a few churches and shops, admired the main piazza, had a nice lunch and left. It was a pleasant way to spend the day, but I did not feel the urge to return any time soon. Fortunately, my best friend in Florence is from Arezzo, and experiencing the city through her eyes over the past few years has given me a new appreciation for it. Like Volterra (see TF 127), the town of Arezzo was one of 12 important Etruscan outposts. Dating to around 600 BC, it was likely chosen for its strategic location on a hilltop at the confluence of four valleys: Casentino, Val Tiberina, Valdichiana and Valdarno. Arezzo is a veritable who's who in Italian history: it was the birthplace of the poet Petrarch; artist and historian Giorgio Vasari; Guido Monaco, inventor of the musical scale; and Renaissance masters Piero della Francesca, Masaccio and Paolo Uccello. Even Michelangelo was born there!