Before I get started… I have updated my photo album with my photos of Roma, Perugia and Padova. You can see them at http://picasaweb.google.com/drnorberg931/Italy201002#. Enjoy!
Pisa is bella (beautiful), but I just can not warm up to this city. This is my second visit and the feeling is the same. Yes, it has interesting places, like Piazza di Miracoli, where the famous Leaning Tower is located, many churches, and many other attractions. It’s difficult to explain, but it’s just not “my city”.
That said, I actually went to Pisa to see an art exhibit featuring Joan Miro, which was good. After the exhibit I walked around the east side of the river for awhile just to see what that side of town has. A disadvantage about going to Italy in October is that it is the “low season”, when there are fewer tourists (ideally-it depends on the city). This means that many of the old churches and museums will be closed to the public during the week. The exception is Piazza di Miracoli which is almost always full of tourists. It includes not only the Tower, but also the Duomo and Baptistery. The photo of the Duomo and Tower you see at the top was actually taken two years ago during my last visit to Pisa. I have more photos of the Piazza, Duomo and Baptistery. If you are interested in seeing them please let me know. I like to share!
Ok, this town I like. In fact, I would recommend a full day here to see it properly. Two days might be better if you are like me and prefer to spend a lot of time at those most interesting sites. Arezzo is simply beautiful. The Duomo was closed to the public the day I visited. Even so, there is much more to experience. The park behind the Duomo is open to the public and is absolutely beautiful. It includes a sculpture dedicated to the father of poetry, Petrarcha (I read that somewhere, but I can’t now say where). Petrarcha was a resident of Arezzo in the 13th/14th centuries. Dante was influenced by Petrarcha’s poetry, and they are said to have been good friends.
Besides the sculpture, a visitor can see part of the old medieval walls around the city and fabulous hilltop views of the city and surrounding hillside.
One chiesa I found open was Basilica di San Francesco. There are a number of great paintings by a painter aptly named Piero della Francesco. His paintings were magnificant, but the highlight for me was Cimabue’s famous cross. Magnificent!
Here are a few photos from Arezzo. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them. This little town is definitely on my list for next year!