Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Florence the thirteenth - Arezzo

For some reason I thought Arezzo would be kind of a big deal, but the parts I nosed around in were very low-key and peaceful. Up in the historic centre I only saw one tour group and very few other people. Maybe tourists are put off by warnings like the one in my guidebook that alerts people to the steepness of the streets (although it also mentions the need for sturdy shoes, leading me to believe all its advice is aimed at elderly Britons), and residents prefer to stay on the lower slopes where the bulk of the shops are. Or maybe I just came on a slow morning. Whatever, it was still very much worth the visit.

Something makes me think I'm in Arezzo. This is in stark contrast to Lucca, where there were no signs on the platform at all and I just had to hope really hard that I was getting off at the right place.

Arezzo's town square, Piazza Grande, is my favourite so far. That's probably due in large part to the lack of people, but it's large and clean and because of the slope it doesn't feel like buildings are bearing down on you from all sides.

Other side of the piazza. That roundy building is actually the back of Santa Maria della Pieve, but it's so much nicer like this than if the church had fronted the square.

Fountain next to the church.

Arezzo is pretty steep, but small enough that you get to the top before the climbing gets annoying. And if you do get tired you can stop to take a breather under the guise of pretending to check your text messages, a trick that's been used by locals for centuries.

Cute little mosaic over the doorway of Sant'Agnese.

Little gated garden memorial thingy.

Apparently no Samoans live on this street.

At the top of the hill is a large shady park, and in the park is a Medici fortress. It's all closed up, but it looks like inside you're only allowed to wear oven mitts and line dance and...barbecue tongs?

View from the top near the fortress. Spot the enemies.

The back of Arezzo Cathedral. The whole facade is pretty austere compared to most other cathedrals I've seen. Apparently it was never really finished and they were still slapping parts on as late as 1914.

That lion looks quite pleased with himself - I think he just had a breakfast of delicious hand.

Most people go cow-tipping. Angels are more hardcore - they go knight-tipping. And just so they have a place to sit.

And I'll leave you with this guy, who is enjoying his mortal peril a little too much.


  1. I really need to know...were your shoes sturdy enough?

  2. Yes dearie. How sweet of you to ask!

  3. That last sign is definitely saying "Check out the crotch on the door humper! Look how humpy he is!"

  4. He's definitely in that predicament by choice.