Sunday, May 29, 2011


We drove on to Arezzo, another hill town, famous for its continuing wealth as well as its great medieval and Renaissance art and architecture. What attracted us in particular was Piero della Francesca's 15th century Legend of the Holy Cross, one of the greatest of Italian frescoes (which is saying something), but there was plenty more to see. Arezzo is a bit off the usual tourist circuit. Despite abundant facilities, parking, a free camper-stop two blocks from the wall, excellent signage all over, we saw rather few tourists, no tour buses nor tour bus groups, and liked Arezzo so well we stayed two days and nights. I'll divide my posts between the city and its architecture and its art.
Among the abundant facilities and amenities, a
succession of scala mobili, escalators, takes
you from the parking lot up to the old city, in
the shade, too

The very large mostly 13th-15th century duomo, to which
we'll return for some art and illumination

The Francesca church, 13th century, not the
first church we have or will see with an
unfinished west facade; they built from the
chancel back through the nave, and typically
got to the facade last, often when funds had
given out or tastes had changed

Inside the Francesca, another vast but austere
Gothic church; we'll return in the next post for a
look at the frescoes that occupy most all of the

Santa Maria della Pieva, 13th-15th century,
one view of the Romanesque facade and huge

East side of Santa Maria della Pieve, which
fronts onto the Grande Piazza

And the Grande Piazza

The facade and campanile again; the latter with 40 bays

Interior; another huge church

Arezzo's public library, a beautiful old Renaissance palazzo
bearing the Medici coat of arms as well as many others

Next door, Petrach's house, where they're
doing some remodeling

House of Vasari, painter, architect, writer, Renaissance Man,
whose 1530 Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors,
and Architects makes him, some say, the first art historian

Interior of San Domenico, another 13th century Gothic
church, very austere, but home of Cimabue's Crucifix

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