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fabulous daytrip to Arezzo

*I am writing most of this post about my fabulous day in Arezzo from trains heading to Arezzo and then back to Florence.

Saturday, June 27th:
Ate a quick breakfast Saturday morning. Weather forecast says rain at noon in Florence, Siena, and Arezzo.  Decided to head to the train station to take a daytrip, hoping for nice weather (or at least no rain) for the morning hours.

It was an easy 15 minute walk to the train station.  When I arrived, I decided on going to Arezzo since that was my original planned first stop in Italy this summer.  

There were 2 trains - the 9:08 train, which had a few more stops and would take longer to arrive in Arezzo and the 9:13 train that is quicker, heads to Roma and stops in Arezzo along the way. Of course just when the slower 9:08 train departed, the partenza (departure) board announced that the quicker 9:13 train would be 40 minutes late!

I noticed that the board indicated that another train left for Arezzo at 9:33.  I checked with one of the automatic ticket machines (going through the steps to purchase a ticket) to see if my ticket price was the same for the 9:33 train and then double checked with a train person and am now sitting on this train typing this while waiting for this train to leave.

Yay! The train's engine is revving up and we are leaving on time!!

Well I am not sure how brilliant that plan was. I only arrived 3 minutes faster than the quicker 40 minutes late train arrived.  

The weather was overcast with the sun peeking in here and there when I arrived.  The main street leading up to the historical center is called Corso Italia.  It is a pedestrian only street and it was packed.  It reminded me of the afternoon passiagiata that takes place all over Italy.  People were out greeting each other and going in and out of the various stores.  
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I was tempted to check out a few stores but only had an hour or so before the churches I wanted to visit closed until opening again late in the afternoon. The last time I was in Arezzo, I missed out going inside the Duomo and I did not want to miss it again.

I stopped in a couple of other churches along the way before reaching the Duomo which is located at the top of the hill. When I went inside, I discovered a wedding taking place. I usually only stay for a minute or two when there is a wedding occurring but this time I stayed, watching the rest of the ceremony.

Most of the mass was completed.  What I saw was the personal touch to their ceremony.  It was such a joyous occasion that it brought tears to my eyes a few times during the ceremony.
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I have to go off topic for a moment to mention that it is now pouring outside and I can see lightening and hear thunder crackling!  I wonder if sitting in a metal train car is a good thing to be doing when there is lightening happening.  I don't think I have shared this before but I am terrified of thunder and lightening storms.

The train just stopped in Incisa.  Has anyone heard of this town before?  

Ok storm has passed, back to my day in Arezzo.

Not only was the wedding beautiful, but the Duomo itself is quite a gem.  There is a famous Piero della Francesco fresco in this church.
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While watching the end of the wedding ceremony, I met a lovely couple from Bologna. We chatted for quite a while.  

In Italy, the bride and groom leave the church last.  I wanted to make sure to get out of the church before the bride and groom headed for the door.  All their friends and family were waiting outside with large containers of rice.  

After watching everyone throw rice at the bride and groom, I headed towards Piazza Grande.  This piazza was made famous from the movie Life Is Beautiful.  The sun was shining and the piazza was even more beautiful than I even imagined it could be.  The last time I was in Arezzo, there were barriors set up in the piazza ruining the perfect photo opportunities.
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Ok, have to get off topic again. Two girls just got on the train and sat in seats across from me. One of the girls is talking on the phone faster than I have ever heard anyone speak Italian before. It is amazing. I am trying to listen to see if I can understand any of what she is saying. She must be speaking 25 words per second! Ok - got "pero" and "non lo so". Amazing, I am actually starting to understand a few more words that she is saying.

Well we are close to Firenze now. I will finish this later...

After taking tons of photos, I started thinking about lunch. I definitely wanted to eat at one of the places that overlooked Piazza Grande. I just had to decide which one. I noticed my new Bologna friends sitting at the restaurant at the end of the row. I figured that if they were eating there, it had to be good. I just missed getting a front row view table but the view was still wonderful.
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(The couple from Bologna is on the left, sitting in front of me.)

I ordered bruschetta and penne all' arrabbiata. Before the bruschetta was brought out, I was served a small bowl of soup (some sort of potato flavor) which was delicious along with 3 little bread pupu treats. I am so glad I decided to eat at La Lancia 8 Oro. The food, service, and atmosphere were all terrific. So far, best meal of the trip.

While eating lunch, the bride and groom were having photos taken of them right by my table.
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After lunch, I walked around Arezzo taking more photos. Here are a couple...
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The skies started to get dark after I finished lunch.
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Around 3 pm, it started to rain (big drops). I headed back to the train station and arrived just in time to catch the next train back to Florence (3 minutes to spare plus 2 extra minutes because of course the train was a little late). Since it was a regional train, I was able to buy my ticket at the newspaper/magazine stand.

So that was my day fabulous day in Arezzo. I will have to catch up later on Saturday evening and Sunday in Florence. I am heading to Lucca tomorrow morning. The B&B where I am staying advertises wifi so hopefully I will at least be able to do mini-posts using my iPod Touch if computer access is not available.

Off to go catch the end of the USA-Brazil soccer game.

Ciao!!

Comments (11)

BArb Cabot:

Wonderful, wonderful wonderful to read your adventure as though I am right there iwth you listening to the girl speak a mile a minute, catching phrases, hearing the rain fall on the metal of the train....great read and thank you for taking us along...can't wait for more.

Arezzo sounds amazing - chockful of things to see and do..glad you were able to get back there to continue your uncovering of this town. I chuckled with your entry "afternoon passiagiata " - I want to get a photo of the 'ultimate gold medal passiagiatas...! Andiamo...m

sandrac:

Yay! I loved Arezzo and I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your day there as well! I'm glad you were able to see the Duomo, I was also very impressed with it.

And I loved my lunch at La Lancia d'Oro! It was pricey but worth it, and the view over the Piazza Grande was fantastic!

I hope you have a wonderful time in Lucca.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Girasoli, glad you had a great time in Arezzo. And what a special thing to observe an actual wedding going on while visting there. Seems like your iTouch is working out very well for you on this trip. Sounds like you are really having a great time. Keep on having fun and I look forward to your next post.

Marcia:

Just popping in to say that I'm so glad you are having a grand time in Italy; I need to find some real time to catch up from the beginning, now that our Alaska laundry is done. Living vicariously through your very wonderful descriptive days.

nancyhol:

I have never been to Arezzo, but your post definitely made me want to!

Keep those reports coming! We are enjoying them so much!

girsaoli,
Sounds like a great day i n Arezzo! I can't wait to see your photos!
How amazing that you got to see an Italian wedding in the Duomo! I would have stayed and watched too.

Have a fabulous rest of the trip.

sheri:

Glad that you are having such a wonderful time. Would love to visit Arezzo one day. How cool that your church visit coincided with the wedding. Listening to a stand-up comedian on Cable discussing Brazilian Soccer.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your day in Arezzo. How special to witness a wedding at the Duomo. I love it when I see this special celebrations in Italy.

I'm also amused by the rapid-fire Italian. To me it's part of the soundtrack of an Italian visit.

Truly remarkable photos - love the bride and groom .. m

Arezzo is a hidden gem. I am amazed that it has not been discovered yet as a main attraction. I was so torn whether to stay in Florence or Arezzo. I think I would have been happy with either place.

The wedding was such a delightful surprise. Someday I will edit the video I took.

sandra, I didn't realize you ate at La Lancia d'Oro. The food was very good. It was expensive but a nice treat, especially with the view.

Barb & Maria, the the rapid-fire Italian was fun to listen to, especially the challenge to try to understand some of it :) Maria, so true... "To me it's part of the soundtrack of an Italian visit."

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