August 1, 2011

Destination: Arezzo, Italy

Upon leaving Bologna, we headed South towards Arezzo, Italy.  Arezzo rests atop a very steep hill.  This placement allows for steep sloped streets and wonderful views once you've trekked to the top.  In Arezzo, we had our first taste of authentic Tuscan food.  I loved the iron work, the vanishing frescos in the churches, and the beautiful painted crucifixes hanging behind the church alters.

We happened to be there during the feast of the Virgin Mary so the city was alive with activity.  The chapel dedicated to her in the duomo was decorated with the most beautiful roses.
First stop, lunch!

We didn't know what to order, so the owner picked the courses for us.  He was wonderful, it's so great to be in Italy!!
(L) Traditional Tuscan bread soup with olive oil on top
(R) Antipasto and buffalo mozzarella
(L) Bolognese sauce
(R) "Tuscan Sampler" - Beans, roasted meats (I loved the one in the wine sauce), mushrooms, spinach

We declined a coffee service, so the owner brought us a surprise anyway.  An espresso cup with a fresh, still warm muffin inside!

I love these little dedications all over the city.

Basilica of San Domenico

I love picturing the walls covered with these beautiful frescos

Crucifix by Cimabue; this work is so amazing in person, delicate, simple, yet, so moving

View of the town below the old part.  If you can tell, it's much more modern than the ancient hilltop portion of Arezzo.

Example of the medieval ironwork.  Beautiful!! -- You'll begin to notice a trend as this journey continues.

Roman tribute statue.  Just outside the amphitheater.

We were there on such a glorious day.  The clouds and blue sky were so inspiring.


The chapel was decorated for the Feast of Virgin Mary

City street

Main shopping street

If you're keeping up with our trip, this was actually Valentine's Day!  We left Arezzo and headed into Montepluciano, next.  If you happen to be a "Twihard", you'll recognize some of the sites we see as they play the backdrop in "New Moon"!