Tag Archives: watercolour

Santa Maria della Pieve again

pieve_2Last day in Arezzo, I had to sketch the Pieve again, and not as a monster this time. So off to Caffe Vasari for lunch, some bruschetta and a sketch of Santa Maria della Pieve.

It was slower, not to sketch it as a monster, and the colour was put on afterwards. A monster sketch gets finished on site. I don’t know that it looks any better than the monster sketch, so what’s that about? Stick to monsters. The monster sketch is here. And here is the same buildingagain, from a photo I took during my last trip, using magic pencils.

Then my friends called. Back in Arezzo from Florence. I walked down the hill for a glass of red wine with them. Later we found a new place to dine outside, Osteria Il Grottino. Right next to a clothing shop we hadn’t seen before and had to visit again the next morning for a purchase. Something Italian and really cooool to ear next summer.

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Arezzo panorama

imageLast full day in Arezzo and I decided not to go to Florence with the others. Instead I went out walking and had breakfast at “The Swiss”, Bar Stefano which is known as “gli Svizzeri”. It is a cafe in the Corso which was one of our breakfast choices. Very Delicious Indeed. See their bruschetta (though not for breakfast).
imageIn fact it was our favourite breakfast place – against the tough competition of the view of Piazza Grande from Caffe Vasari.

After breakfast I decided to go to see the Piero della Francesca frescos. I saw them last time I was in Arezzo, and I decided to pay them another visit. A large group of French people were in there being talked at by their guide. I went to sit in the body of the church to wait, thanking my lucky stars that I was no longer with a group.

imageLater, I walked back up to the very top of the hill, near our accommodation where the Duomo, the cathedral of Arezzo sits. I went through the cathedral, then out into the park nearby. it looks out over a cliff towards beautiful Tuscan countryside, and that was where I sat to sketch.

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The Outlet

piazza_grande
Today was the day our friends took us to The Outlet, shopping again. We were short of winter clothes, and besides…..it’s nice to have things to take home from Italy. We caught the train to their village, and they drove us to The Outlet at Foiano. It is a huge place, but relatively deserted. We went round all the shops but found the sizes to be tiny, even too tiny for my travelling companion who takes a very small size.

But finally, a shoe shop where I bought some wonderful cowboy boots. In fact, I didn’t find them myself. I must have been lagging, entering the shop, and my three friends were pointing at the boots, saying “These are for you!”. Strangely, they fitted perfectly and came home with me.

Readers of my blog will know that I have had this craving for a Eurotrash persona since my last trip when I saw many glitzy clothes and shoes. I found the shoes. They are gold, lace up flat shoes with tiny pin holes. Now I am looking for some gold socks to go with them.

Back in Arezzo, after the siesta, a shop was finally open that had a sparkly Eurotrash top I had coveted. I bought it. It was perfect on me. Then Annie said, “Come on, let’s sketch!”, so we went back to Caffe Vasari and I drew a part of the Piazza Grande. We talk about going back to Arezzo and aitting there in the Piazza Grande sketching for a month.

Cold at that time of day though, so we had a warming red wine, then off to Osteria Agania for rabbit and potatoes. And cafe corretto.

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Santa Maria della Pieve (as a monster)

pieve_as_monsterSo I have been sketching some ‘monsters’ on my travels and the one building I had to do was this one, Santa Maria della Pieve. Instead of finding somewhere new for lunch, we went back to Caffe Vasari, because it is absolutely perfect for sketching anything in the Piazza Grande. I approached it like a monster (in the method of Inma Serrano, see the links in this post), because I do love it, probably as much as any building in the world. It is quite complicated, and I didn’t want to make a hash of this one, but the monster approach rids me of fear. Unrealistic colour helps with that also.

imageThe part of the building you see in the Piazza Grande is the nave, I guess, the back perhaps. This is the front. It is in the Corso Italia, but you can’t get back far enough for a good look in such a narrow street.

The door they actually use is on the side, where the men in medieval costume were going in that first day. On my previous trip to Arezzo, the first day I saw this church, the conical roof seen in the sketch was shaggy and overgrown, but on our second day trip to Arezzo during that visit, it was having its hair cut.

imageInterestingly there were other sketchers, sitting in front of us in the same cafe. We were underneath the loggia, they were out in the piazza. The man came to look at our sketches while we worked, but we didnt seem to have a language in common. Why didn’t I try harder..other languages!  Concentrating on my sketch, I guess. Lost opportunity.

That evening we ate in a restaurant “La Torre di Gnicche”, that really appealed to me. (Piatti autentici e tipici.) It was just around the corner from the Piazza Grande, at the beginning of a very steep street. On my previous visit, Broni and I had struggled down the street, then watch two young men struggle up with an enornous suitcase.P1030096

Ít had great atmosphere. We ate antipasto, then polpettone. I do like meatballs. And of course we helped reduce the amount of bottles of red wine around the walls.

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A sunny morning in Arezzo

garibaldi_doorOne unusual aspect of our accommodation in Arezzo was that we had a choice of three places to breakfast. I stuck a voucher I didn’t use on the bottom of the page. We would present our voucher at either of three cafés and be given breakfast. One was very close to the accommodation, but on this day we had breakfast at Caffe Vasari, under the loggia, and looking out on the Piazza Grande. The antique stalls are gone now, and we had the piazza almost to,ourselves.
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After breakfast we had a relaxing morning walking down Corso Italia window shopping and exploring the side streets. We found a market at Piazza Sant’Agostino, though we didn’t buy anything. But we found a bar, with something to sketch.

imageThe movie, “Life is Beautiful” was set in Arezzo. The place where we had breakfast is shown in one of the scenes of the film, as are many of the places we visited. It is all shown on a map here.

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Arezzo Antique Fair

constantiArriving in Arezzo I was highly delighted to find the Antique Fair was on. It happens once a month, and it is enormous. It fills the Piazza Grande, the surrounding piazzas and streets. At Santa Maria della Pieve(a building you will see more of, in my sketches) we watched a procession of musicians in medieval costume enter the church.
imageWhen I arrived in Arezzo it was raining and cold. But I was there to socialise also, so the day of arrival was mostly spent eating and drinking with a quick look at the market.

The following day was not raining but it was freezing, however we wrapped up warm and went around the market. So many interesting things to buy and so little space in the suitcase. All I bought was some antique buttons – gifts for friends who sew their own clothes. And of course a few for me. This sketch was done over lunch on Sunday. Two of the others were sketching a purchase, on the other side of the table. I couldn’t see it from where I was sitting, so I sketched what I could see.

We were staying in a particularly interesting B&B in Arezzo. The city is built on the side of a hill. The cathedral and the Piazza Grande are at the top. Our B&B was very close by. It dates from the 12th century, and in parts of the ground floor, the floor is reinforced glass with excavations underneath. I had the Emma Bovary room.

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