Sunday, March 8, 2009


The weather forecast predicted a sunny, warm early spring day, so instead of going to see some museum in Florence, we decided to hop on a train to Arezzo, one hour away, today. Though not usually as high on visitor's places to see as Pisa, Lucca, or Siena, it is a pretty city with plenty of art, and was where much of "La vita e' bella" ("Life is Beautiful") was filmed.
The first stop on our itinerary was the House of Vasari, where the famous architect designed and decorated his own house. Kristen got in for free here, since it was the "Festa della Donna" today. From here, we first stopped off at an art museum to try to reserve tickets for a church we wanted to see later in the day. Though the woman there couldn't reserve the tickets there (our guidebook was wrong), she was very friendly and called the reservation number for us. Next was the church of San Domenico, where we looked at the Crucifixion by Cimabue from afar, since mass was taking place. The same happened in the Duomo, though it had already progressed to Communion, so after a brief walk through the park and finding the Medici fortress closed for renovations, we returned and were able to look at the stained glass windows, stone tombs, and fresco of Marie Magdalene by Piero della Francesca. A short walk further was the Piazza Grande, which was unfortunately being repaved. Maybe we'll come back sometime for the Joust of the Saracen.
After a quick lunch, we then walked to the church of San Francesco, where we picked up our prereserved tickets and then went in to see the fresco cycle "The Legend of the True Cross" by Piero della Francesca. It's rightly famous (and was seen in "The English Patient"), and I was thrilled by the effects of light, as well as the chaotic battle scenes. Finally, we headed back to the train station, stopping at the ruins of a Roman amphitheatre on the way before catching the train back to Florence.

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