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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuscan tour

My continuing tour of Toscana under the tutelage of scholar Carlo Fusaro took me to Arezzo and surroundings, a beautiful city about 50 miles southeast of Florence. Sadly the city may now be best known as the scene of the 1997 movie, "Life is Beautiful," starring the wonderful Roberto Benigni, who seems to be a beloved figure in Italy because of his innocent antics after winning the Academy Award. This poster showed where key scenes of the movie were shot, including in this square. It's not "sadly" because of this wonderful movie about Jews in the camps, but because the city of Arezzo has so much else and more significant to offer.

The architecture in this city is spectacular, including this Romanesque beauty, the city's duomo.

Spectacular as that architecture is, this arch is perhaps it's unique claim to fame. Note the figures built into the arch itself!

Lest anyone think these are just museums, the faithful still flock.

This is one of the most spectacular marble altars I've seen. It's in the Arezzo duomo.

The church is full of side chapels such as this.


The bones of a saint whose name is not legible in the picture. It was not one I'd heard of. By the way, there are many mentions of and orders built around St. Francis here, and that's because Assisi isn't far away. He frequented these parts.

A unique bas relief, ceramic, came from the shops of Luca della Robbia. We saw a beautiful set of his works on the old hospital in Pistoia (see post below).

I inject myself into the church square in the heart of Arezzo. I don't know that I've ever seen a city center with more chapels, churches and basilicae. It does tend to wear you out if you're cruising from one to the next.

This intact 15th century fresco by Piero della Francesca was described to me as the treasure of this great church, which surprised me because it had many treasures in my estimation.

An ancient basilica in Arezzo had many beauties, including this sarcophagus mounted high on a wall.

The elaborate altar was dazzling.

And the frescoes almost overwhelming.
Posted by Mose, 2:00 AM


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