(Internet back up in the morning!)
This will be a short entry due to the terrible Internet at the hotel. I have managed to transfer a few pictures from my phone to my iPad and will attempt to write a post from here. Doing it on a computer keyboard is so much easier!
Our main goal here is to see Piero Della Francesca’s fresco cycle, The Legend of the True Cross. We arrive at the church of San Francesco and get in immediately and although they tell us we can only stay for half an hour no one shooes us out. We are in the church for an hour enjoying the PDF frescoes as well as other early ones.
After this we stop in to see the Cathedral San Donato. It is at the top of a really steep hill and we are totally winded before we see that now we have to climb all these stairs! My Fitbit registered that by the end of the day I had gone up 37 flights of stairs – a new record! Inside there is a beautiful marble altar, some early paintings and a fresco of a saint. He obviously has been through something horrible but we don’t know who it is.
Next we visited the Museum of Medieval and Contemporary Art. Of course we are only interested in art prior to the 17th century. So right off the bat I do something naughty. There is this stone which is inscribed with two peacocks from the 10th century. Ooh, the 900’s, I need to touch this! So I just very lightly touch it with my index finger. Another old thing I have touched! And did not get caught! Sarah and John are of course appalled.
There’s also a great Madonna and Child painted in 1262 by Margarito di Arezzo. (And no, I didn’t touch it!) Margarito has signed his work! There are very few signed pieces from the 13th century.
A couple of days ago we went to the Piero della Francesca (PDF) exhibition in Forli. Roberto Lounghi claimed in his 19th century book that PDF was a founding father of Renaissance painting and probably he was. But here are three Madonna della Misericordia painted before his. The first one here is especially reminiscent of PDF’s painting.
Time for lunch! We eat at a fairly fancy place at the Piazza Grande. Sarah has the prettiest dish, tortellini and fresh peas.
After a brief siesta we are back to sightseeing. Arezzo is home to Guido Monaco or Guido d’Arezzo, the father of modern musical notation.
Lastly we visit the Basilica of San Domenico. We stopped here earlier but there was a funeral going on so we thought they probably wouldn’t want us in there oohing and aahing over the old art. There’s a lot of great old frescoes here as well as a Cimabue crucifix.
After our big lunch we decide to just have some Tuscan appetizers in a street cafe.
Looks like Mary and Sarah have had enough picture taking for today!