When I first made plans for a month in Arezzo in 2008 I ordered a map of the city so I could locate the school I would be attending and figure out where my apartment was. I wanted to get the lay of the land before I arrived. I started studying the map and noticed that there were quite a few churches located in the centro. I’ve been known to make a stop into each and every church we pass by (in Italy) and looked forward to visiting those in Arezzo.
Once I got to town I immediately set out, map in hand, and began exploring. Every time I passed a church I opened the huge wooden doors, crept into the darkened space and did my usual routine-walked around the perimeter savoring the art lining the walls, stepped into a pew and said a prayer or two and of course, lit a candle before leaving. The above photo is of Chiesa di San Domenico, which is home to a gorgeous crucifix painted by the thirteenth century Italian artist, Cimabue.
On my recent stay in town I returned to my favorites and also discovered a few I hadn’t been to before. Arezzo’s churches, unlike in many other towns, are usually unlocked and open almost every day.
This one, located a short walk outside of the centro is Santa Maria delle Grazie, built in the 1400’s. What I love about this church is the portico built on the front.
And my favorite, Chiesa della SS Annunziata next to my “hidden garden”. La Madonna delle Lacrime (Our Lady of tears) is the sculpture situated behind the altar.
I think I’ve finally been to all of the twenty or so churches in town.