The antique market of Arezzo has been on our ‘must do’ list for some time and last weekend, we finally visited this much desired destination for art and antique lovers. Hosted on the 1st Sunday of every month since 1968, the market is recognised as the most important antique market in Tuscany and given its setting in the spectacular and ancient centro storico of this beautiful city, it’s easy to understand why. Enjoying a Sunday outing here, whether you’re a lover of antiques or not, is very easy to do.
The medieval walls and golden hues of Arezzo’s renaissance architecture provide a perfect backdrop for the incredible collections of furniture, silverware and china, paintings and artwork, grandfather clocks, books and homewares of varying kinds adorning the grand piazza’s and side streets. Taking the time to stroll through these streets and arrive to the magnificent Piazza Grande, filled with the many works of Italian artisans, is most definitely an enjoyable day out – if not only for the collections, but also for the ambience and festive spirit created by the 20,000 people who visit this iconic market each month.
We were ‘window shopping’ for furniture for our new Tuscan home, and we were not disappointed. There were so many magnificent antique wooden pieces we could have purchased, but instead we took the advice of our wise Italian friend, Andrea who told us to ‘take our time, live in our new space a while and then arrive ready to buy with cash’…as supposedly the best deals are done with cash. Love those Italian ways! While we walked away empty handed, our hearts were fulfilled, leaving us yearning for that day when we do return to purchase a beautiful collection of restored furniture pieces, to complement our life in Chianti.
With 500 stalls spread over the side alleys and piazza’s of Arezzo’s beautiful historic centre, and plenty of daylight hours to explore them, the day was relaxed and unfolded in perfect Tuscan piano piano style. Complimenting the market are beautiful shops and an array of very cool cafes, bars and restaurants, which we spent the day and night thoroughly enjoying.
The gentle amble also led to an array of food and dining experiences over the course of the day and night. We arrived into the atmosphere of it all around 11am and before too long, we had stopped for a coffee in the piazza. We then meandered a little further, before sitting down to enjoy a sensational rustic Tuscan style panino and tagliere or salumi plate over great conversation with friends and an hour of people watching. Dessert came in the form of a mid afternoon, well earned gelato, with pistachio, nocciola and stracciatella being the favourites.
Day then rolled into night as the soft, warm light adorned the buildings and we relaxed into an early evening Spritz in a bar off the main piazza.
There is something very beautiful about the ambience of the late afternoon in Tuscany, with that warm, golden light just helping you to feel totally relaxed and at ease with life. Salute Arezzo for a great day and night!
Stay: B&B Il Piccolo Cavour, a wonderful guesthouse set in a restored 1700’s palace
Eat, Lunch: Antica Bottega Toscana, freshly made panini in true Tuscan style.
Eat, Dinner: Anticafonte Ristorante, a great family run restaurant rooted in Tuscan tradition and offering sensational handmade pastas and simple dishes of quality.
If you’re in Tuscany on the 1st Sunday of the month, we highly recommend a visit to the Arezzo antique market as a pre or post tour experience for either our Tour of Tuscany or L’Eroica Tour.