As much as I am smitten by Lucca, my heart will always belong to Arezzo. It was in 2008 that I spent a month in this somewhat off the beaten track Tuscan town and fell hard and fast. I was there to study Italian and immerse myself in the language and it turned out to be the perfect place for me to leave English behind. This is a town that’s not overrun with tourists and Italian is what you’ll hear when you’re out and about in town.
When my month was up it was all I could do to pack my bags and move out of town. My charming landlady drove me to the car rental office and with tears in my eyes, I vowed to return to Arezzo. It took three years, but in 2011 I once again enrolled in Cultura Italiana and started searching for a place to stay.
I had some info about an apartment in the centro that a schoolmate had rented for a year and contacted the owner. As luck would have it, this little gem was available and I moved right in. Tucked away down a quaint lane the apartment actually was hidden behind an ancient stone wall.
Who has garden in the middle of the centro? Well, I did! My kitchen door opened onto this wonderful giardino (garden) and it was all mine-the owners happened to be away during my stay.
Spring in Tuscan means wisteria and I had my own secluded spot complete with a table and chairs. It was the perfect spot to study but I must admit that I probably did more sipping of wine under the wisteria than studying Italian!
January 6, 2014 at 4:44 am
Oh, how beautiful. You live the life Paninigirl! And the wisteria is glorious! Happy New Year to you!
January 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm
Adri-I wish I could say that I was packing a bag right now and heading off to the airport…
January 6, 2014 at 5:02 am
Any suggestions on where I could stay for a month while doing the course in Arezzo. Is the place where you stayed available to look at online?
January 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm
Jan-the website for the rental is http://www.arezzotuscanapartments.com. They have a variety of rentals. Let me know what you find out. Are you studying at Cultura Italiana? If so they can help you find a place, however the first place I go through them was not so great…
January 6, 2014 at 6:58 am
Lovely! I wonder where exactly your giardino is here in town? And, Paola, the director of La Cultura Italiana, is a friend of mine. Yes, Arezzo is a gem.
January 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm
Gina-the apartment was on a little lane between Via Oberdan and Via Pescioni. I love Paola-what a wonderful person and great teacher. Last time I was there I had two weeks of private lessons with Paola. Tell her Janie from California says hello the next time that you see her.
January 7, 2014 at 8:31 am
I know via Oberdan – will go and peek! 😉 And I will definitely send your warm greetings from California to Paola! Ciao!
January 6, 2014 at 8:46 am
I did similar. I stayed in Castelraimondo for a month and attended Italian school and had the time of my life. The following year I rented a house in the area for a month. Then the next year I returned to the school. This year I will travel to Italy in May with a friend. We are planning to rent a house or apt in the Bagni di lucca area for a month. I guess this is why I enjoy your blog
January 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm
Lyn-can’t wait to see where you end up-what a lovely area!
January 6, 2014 at 2:44 pm
This is what Italy is all about! The big cities are wonderful with all their famous sites and history, but it’s these small towns and the experience of living among the locals that is priceless! You are very lucky to have had this incredible opportunity – and what a beautiful garden to make it all the more special!
January 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm
Tesoro Treasures-I always felt very welcomed in Arezzo-the locals are lovely. Would love to spend more time there at some point.
January 6, 2014 at 6:27 pm
Would love to know if they still rent this out? Also any info you may have on it?
Ps- don’t know if you revieced my enail(?
January 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm
Holly-I didn’t get an e mail. Take a look at the comment I left above for Jan with the website. You can get in touch with me at email@example.com.
January 6, 2014 at 11:06 pm
I wish we were all packing our bags for a great adventure in Italy right about now..it is FREEZING cold here and all I can think about is spring and summer in Lucca and Florence…soon, very soon!! LOL! My dream is to go and just study Italian so I can finally (after all these years…!) sound like I am more than 2 years old learning to speak…some day!
January 8, 2014 at 3:12 pm
Our Kitchen Adventures-when are you heading to Italy? As for speaking-we need to live there to actually improve!
January 8, 2014 at 3:47 pm
We are booked to go in May….the 7th thru 21st…let me know if you can make it. If not, we go for Thanksgiving each year…