Prato, Arezzo, and Bologna

Last weekend, I took a few day trips throughout Italy. Friday after class, Maddie and I went to Prato, a neighboring city of Florence. We took a very short train ride and walked around the city a little bit. It is more modern looking than Florence. Prato is known for its textile production, so we visited the textile museum, which was really interesting.  We walked around some more and got biscotti, which Prato is also known for. Back to Florence we went. It was a nice little half day trip with no agenda. 

Also there’s a castle

  

Textile Museum

  

Painting of the Pope on a church

  
    

It had cornflakes and chocolate chips in it, so delicious!


Saturday, we went to the medieval town of Arezzo. It was a beautiful day!  First, we went to the archaeological museum, which also had some ruins. We got so many discounts because of our age and the fact we were art students, the combined ticket that was 12€ was only 2€ for us!! The ticket included the museum, the Basilica of San Francesco, and Casa Vasari.
 

ruins

  
  

Etruscan vase


 

Roman banquet setting

  

 

We walked through the city to the Basilica, which is famous for its frescos. 

deer statues

   
  

Basilica of San Francesco with lots of frescos

  

We got lunch in the Piazza Grande and went to the Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici, a fraternity that did a lot of work and had a lot of art in the city. 

The building to the right is the fraternity.

Lots of royal, well-to-do people

We also got to climb the Campanile, or bell tower, for a view of the city.

View of Piazza Grande

Super old clock that still works and rings the bells

     
  

more Piazza Grande

  

Signs like these were all around, showing where Life is Beautiful was filmed

We then went up to the park, which had a gorgeous view of the surrounding countryside.
 
   

  We also went to Casa Vasari, the house of a famous artist. Every room was decorated in the most magnificent frescos. We walked around the city some more, as dusk was lighting up the buildings in the most beautiful way.

  
    

Another church we popped into

 
   
   
 

  

Random modern mural in the midst of a medieval city

  

We then went into the Medieval Museum, which was free! It had lots of art, artifacts, and furniture.

I would put this armoir in my house in a second


We headed to the train station and bid farewell to Arezzo.  

Farewell, Arezzo!

Sunday, we went to Bologna. We could not find a tourist office anywhere, so we had to figure out what to do ourselves.  It was a nice surprise to find another chocolate festival going on in the main piazza! That’ll make two for me! I got some hot chocolate and two pieces of a soft kind of dark chocolate.
 

That statue/fountain of Neptune is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city.

  

Those white topped tents are where the magic is.


Bologna has the anatomical theater of Archiginnasio, where students would watch dissections of entire cadavers take place. I really wanted to visit it, but by the time we found it, it was already closed. We spent our time enjoying the architecture of the city and shopping instead.   

Bologna is also known for its porticoes. These covered sidewalks are great when ot rains!

  

There are way more leaning towers in Europe than just Pisa.

  
  

We visited St. Peter’s Cathedral, which had a bell tower inside of a bell tower. 

one of the prettiest churches I’ve seen, with lots of heaven scenes frescoed on the ceilings

  

Bell tower inside of a bell tower makes for a cramped stairway

  

a beautiful view of the city and the top of the cathedral.

    
    

There was a lot of old graffiti from around the turn pf the century. They all had beautiful handwriting to be writing on a curved ceiling.

  

Inside the bell tower

  
  

looking up the innermost bell tower


We then went shopping! I bought a scarf for 6 €. On the way back to the train station, Maddie and I shared some roasted chestnuts. They are sold all over Italy on the streets, and they always smell so good. I’d been wanting to try them, and they turned out to be delicious!   
  We then took the train back to Florence. It was a relaxing weekend!

 

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