Who wouldn’t love a festival of shopping? It doesn’t get more bedazzling than when, during the first weekend of every month, Arezzo closes of its cobbled streets to cars and opens them instead to an array of vendors who spread out blankets of vintage jewels, fill tables with porcelain dishes, figurines, furs and clothing, line ancient stone walls with paintings and mirrors and cluster over-sized hand-carved furniture into every available corner.
From the tiny Madonna del Prato street to the sun-filled expanse of Piazza Grande, you are bound to find something that surprises you and that you’ll want to take home.
Like this weekend, when Lulu decided she had found her new best friend – in the form of a ceramic canine of indiscriminate breed – but with a discriminating price of 1,200 Euro.
“Non lo toccare!” “Don’t touch him!” I cautioned.
Arezzo may not be in Rick Steve’s guide of must-sees, but I’m here to tell you that he doesn’t know everything! Here in the heart of Tuscany, Arezzo’s Fiera Antiquaria is truly something to behold. Started in 1968, this is Italy’s oldest and largest antiques fair. And with the jaw-dropping backdrop of the medieval churches and palazzi surrounding you, the old merchandise actually seems rather fresh and new.
Lulu and I never miss it. This morning, with Lulu decked out in her fatina di le stelline (fairy of the stars) face paint, we went exploring. Of course, with the makeup, Lulu couldn’t help but stop in front of a mirror.
Then I paused to consider my favorite among some delicately hand-made and hand-painted terracotta dolls – I must have a thing for fairies, because I was drawn to the fata turchina, or blue fairy, from Pinocchio fame.
I resisted my impulse purchase desire and we then turned the corner to see something straight out of the Seven Year Itch. Minus Marilyn and the steam-grate.
“It’s super-lovely,” Lulu gushed.
“Yes,” I agreed. “But it’s also 100 Euro.” No could do.
In the end, Lulu and I didn’t end up buying anything. But we did have a marvelous time exploring our town and its treasures.
We even managed to find another mirror. This time with me in it too!
And anyway, there’s always next month.
We’ll be here. How ‘bout you?
Please come to visit our terrific town in the heart of Tuscany. We’ll gladly show you around! Till next time, if you’d like to enjoy more adventures with Lulu in Italy, please treat yourself to my new book, “Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me” – available worldwide from Amazon.com
Till next time,
What’s your favorite shopping pleasure? Would love to hear!