Summary – The spent the first part of the day in the small town called Arezzo, although we didn’t actually go to into either main 2 churches. We did however see the amphitheatre a park with an amusing name, as well as get ice-creams and traditional pizza. From here we went to Cortona, although not a place we originally intended on going, it actually became one of our favourites. Not sure if Mum was very keen on all of the hilly streets, let alone the very steep slope though at the end which we did.
We, as usual, didn’t get up until about 10am. Dad went off in the morning as usual and complained that we said to get back at 10, he did and when he got back we were all still in bed.
In end by the time we were ready we didn’t leave until 10:30. We drove for about an hour and a half to a place called Arrezo. We actually didn’t get too lost.
Arriving in Arrezo
We parked in an underground car park. On the way it had been quite sunny, but here it was a lot cooler and cloudier. We walked through the town through the little streets. We found but both of the churches, but one was closed due to the time we went and the other cost around €30 for all 4 of us and we questioned whether it was worth it or not. In the end we decided it wasn’t and didn’t bother.
The first church (i.e. the expensive one)
The second church (i.e. the closed one)
The same church but from a different angle
A statue of a horse, which we found funnily, due to how… realistic it looked lol
Il Prato and Fortress
Due to the name Tom insisted we made a retour via a park just because it had the name ‘Il Prato’. Both Tom and Dad thought it was hilarious, thus showing who are the most grown up in the family. We did go to the Fortress but it was closed and seem to be worked on at the moment. The original plan was to have lunch in the park, until we realised that nobody had bought any lunch with them :)) Instead we had an ice-cream at the little cafe in the park.
Tom with the Il Prato Park sign
The Fortress which was closed
The Cafe which we stopped at
More photos from the park – link
The Rest of the Town & Amphitheater
We walked back roughly the way we came, exploring a few more streets and plazas. As we had not had any lunch we had some pizza. We saw some girls come out with slices of pizza, so we went in after too. They had massive pizzas, and you could just buy a slice. Due to our lack of Italian we just went for Margarita as it was the one we knew. It was really nice, and perfect for lunch. After a little walk we reached the Amphitheatre. It was not open as a sign said that because of some issues of vandalism they no longer were open to the public. However we were able to see it from the outside, before returning back to the car.
One of the little streets
One of the plazas
More photo from the town and amphitheatre – link
Arriving in Cortona and San Domenico Church
The original plan wasn’t to go to Cortona, we had intended to go to Perugia, but we had a change a plan as we thought this would be easier. It was clear quickly that the views would be good as when we arrived as we climbed very high to get there. There seemed to be not many car parks and more parking on the road. We parked in a small car park half way up the hill.
We walked up some steps and through a small park towards the main part of town. It had some nice views though. On the other side of the park and on the outskirts was a small church. It was typical of the churches in Italy which looks very plain on the outside and very well decorated in the inside.
The fountain in the park, which we found amusing
The front of the the San Domenico Church
Inside the church
Some of the gold in the church
More photo from here – link
The Town and Views
Opposite the little church was view point, but there were views also all over the place. We walked through the main part of the town and streets. In the normal Italian fashion the streets were all narrow and looked similar to before, although these were all on a slope; some steeper than others. In fact the main street with shops translated as ‘Level Street’ because it was the only level street in the entire town. There was a nice little square.
The view from a view point just over the road from the church
The ‘Level Street’
One view across the square
Another view across the square
More photos from Cortona and the views – link
The Gallery/ Shop
Although we didn’t do any shopping there was a nice little art shop/ gallery. It was over 2 floors, with a small spiral staircase joining the 2 together. We loved most of the art and probably would buy the whole gallery if we could. The shop even had a covered old well which now had gold fish in it.
The cute little street which the shop/ gallery was in
The well which was in the shop
A view across the shop (which I subtly took as it said no photos were allowed)
A Very Steep Hill!
After stopping for Coke and Juice at a bar as its the only place we could find with toilets (this was a mission in itself!). Tom had a great idea of going up a steep hill to the top. This was definitely a challenge for poor Mum. We did see an old guy walking up, no idea how we coped as it literally was a 45 degree slope. After all this there didn’t seem to be too much. Both churches were closed. However the other side of the wall had a little bench and had a good view across a vast area. Also it had a some houses with very pretty gardens.
The steep hill itself [taken on the way back down]
Mum needing a little bit of help (lol)
The houses at the top
The view from the top
A normal view to see within our family 😉
More photos from the top of the steep slope – link
Video: the view from the top of the steep hill – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNQjm-WrftQ&feature=youtu.be
A Long Journey Home!
We walked down the hill and back towards the car. On the way we called by another church and also via a shop we saw on the way for a painting we liked.
We had a surprise when we were trying to leave. We could only go up and it was a one way system. It turned out we had to drive through the town! Even then it was confusing as we reached a square and the signs disappeared. The Dutch car in front got lost too and had to do a U-turn in the square. We did find a way out in the end when Mum spotted a speed limit on an archway.
This too was not the end of the confusion. We got quite lost the whole way home. This caused a lot of arguments and several detours! Finally we made it to the supermarket in the nearby town, even if a lot later than expected.
Us driving through the ‘Level Street’