Walled cities are a Tuscan specialty. I’d been to a few in the last couple of weeks and, on paper, Arezzo looked to be another gem in the making.


However shortly after arriving things did not look quite so promising. Although an old city, much of what you can see on first entering the city is dull, generic office buildings, including one company amusingly called “multiass.”

[photopress:IMG_5046.jpg,thumb,alignleft]Inside the city walls things immediately get… confusing. I walk down a street. To my right is a church, ahead are a mess of signs pointing in every direction, each one presumably a place of interest. With no guide book on the city I had no real idea what any of them were and arbitrarily picked “right.”

To cut a long story short(er), this was almost certainly not the best choice. After a mostly fruitless search for interesting sights, I looped back and accidentally found the Duomo. The inside was as lavishly decorated as you might expect for a Catholic church. In one cubby-hole ((I kind of want to say transept here but I’m not completely sure.)) a service was being taken. Maybe I should have gone and got a panini earlier as the wafers and wine seemed mighty tempting at this point.


Immediately behind the church is Il Prato, a large park by the Medici Fortress and with views over the neighbouring area. I’m not sure of its significance, but there was a huge cemetery visible also.


My opinion of the place having rapidly changed from ambivalence to enthusiasm, I decided to stay a little longer. Unfortunately this required relocating the car from it’s temporary home near the multiass. To get back to the car I tracked the most direct route back, which included wandering through Piazza Grand, apparently the most beautiful square in the city.

Locating another parking space could have been easier. Without going into detail about any of the almost certainly illegal manoeuvres made, I will say that the signage in Arezzo is somewhat lacking. With plenty of one way systems and areas off limits to non-residents, it’s not a city to tackle without a map.


Still, having found somewhere to park near Il Prato, I failed to find anywhere decent looking to eat despite the area being well renowned for its cuisine.

Still, I’m pleased that I made it to Arezzo. Despite my initial misgivings, it is most certainly a city worth visiting. But next time I’ll know to turn left.