There are few better ways to spend a lazy Sunday than idly strolling around a market, and Arezzo’s famous Fiera Antiquaria (Antiques Fair), established over 50 years ago, certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Held on the first Sunday of every month, as well as on the preceding Saturday (seems complicated but sometimes the first Sunday falls on the 1st of the month, so the Saturday date falls in the preceding month) its main hub is situated in the impressive Piazza Grande but with over 400 stalls it sprawls outwards – running under the stunning Loggiato Vasariano and then down and around the surrounding streets.
Like all good antiques markets, it’s the kind of place you’ll find anything and everything; from improbably-sized rusty keys which lead you to imagine the palazzos they once unlocked, to retro cameras, artworks, silverware, books, and furniture from every era.
Fiera Antiquaria Arezzo is the official website.
Being Italy, there’s no shortage of cafes on hand should you need a pitstop. Caffe Dei Costanti in Piazza S. Francesco is popular with locals and has plenty of outdoor seating for prime people watching. Depending on the time of day, you may opt for a quick espresso and get back to it, or order a round of Aperol Spritzes to help lubricate your partner as you try to convince them that the enormous armoire you saw really would look cool in your bedroom (and of course you won’t have any problems getting it through airport security on your way home).
It’s hard not to fall under the spell of the items on offer, filling your eyes with the treasures on show, but don’t forget to look up once in a while too, so as not to miss the breath-taking medieval and renaissance architecture that the historic centre of the city has to offer.
For lunch, you’ll find plenty of local fare on offer at reasonable prices; whilst Arezzo gets a lot of visitors, it’s not as much of a tourist trap as the likes of Florence and Siena. However, if you fancy a break from pizza and pasta, a hidden gem of a Sushi restaurant (Tao) can be found opposite the train station, just 5 minutes’ walk from the market, where you can enjoy a €13 all-you-can-eat lunch menu. Yes, really, all you can eat sushi.
No day spent in an Italian city would be complete without an ice-cream, so before you head back to where you’re staying stop by the Gelateria Sunflower (also in Piazza S. Francesco), to indulge in some of the best Pistachio gelato that Italy has to offer. After all that time spent on your feet shopping, you deserve it after all.