The smells and spoils of Arrezzo


The smells and spoils of Arrezzo

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

It has become a joke between me and the lovely D.  Where ever we might be walking through a city and get a whiff of that unmistakeable scent associated with sewage one of us will say “reminds me of Arezzo”.  Why Arezzo has this distinctively unappetizing aroma is something that I’ll never know.  A Google search didn’t turn up any other comments about this special trait of the city.  It’s not like it’s all over the city but there must be a sewer main that runs along one of the streets in the vicinity of the famous monthly antiques fair. I really shouldn’t necessarily single out Arezzo for this nasal violation since I have sensed the same telltale aroma in downtown San Francisco not far from where I live.  Still it’s not a one time thing because I’ve been to the antique fair 3 times and remember it on each occasion.  So don’t let it put you off.  It’s a nice place and the antiques fair is absolutely amazing. It’s held once a month and brings people from all over Italy as well as tourists like me.  There are a wide range of sellers including a woman we met from England managing to live in Italy by selling English silver to primarily Italian buyers.

I’ve never eaten much but lunch there but it has always been good if not noteworthy. Of course that can be said of almost anyplace in Italy. You almost have to look for a bad meal (can you say “Tavola Calda”?) or just have the bad fortune to be enroute and have everything decent closed when you’re starving – as happened to us in Dogliani in Piedmont.

Researching stuff for these posts is always fun and often turns up unusual items. Arezzo, like almost everywhere else in Italy has a long history although perhaps not as glorious as some. 459px-PietroAretinoTitianStill on the relatively short list of notables from Arezzo is one that I found particularly interesting. His name was Pietro Aretino. He was a satirist and inventor of modern literate pornography. After fleeing Rome after a bishop attempted to have him assassinated due to one of this satirical writings he settled in Venice, the “seat of all vices” as he approvingly exclaimed. He is said to have died of laughter at 64. My kind of guy. You can read more about him by clicking here. His photo is at the right – he does look like a jolly sort doesn’t he?

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