The Antiques Market in Arezzo
The ancient Tuscan city of Arezzo, with its Roman ruins, medieval walls, Renaissance architecture and incomparable Piero della Francesca murals, has always been a magnet for art lovers.
But on the first Sunday of every month, and the Saturday before, when its Piazza Grande is filled with a motley collection of old furniture, musty paintings and stained silverware, tarnished candlesticks and kitchen cabinets, chipped china and violins, Roman coins and a harmonium, old-fashioned telephones and grandfather clocks, it is a lodestone for connoisseurs and bargain hunters.
The monthly Antiques Market with its 500 exhibitors and about 100 little shops open all year round, is, since 1968, an added incentive to visit this art-laden city.
The fair takes advantage of the extraordinary scenery of Piazza San Francesco, Piazza Grande and the Logge del Vasari, but the stalls spread over the side alleys and squares across the historic centre, transforming the character of the city for the two days of the Antique Market.
For forty years the appointment on the first Sunday of each month and the Saturday before is a must for fans and curious: it has been estimated that each edition is visited by an average of 20,000 people, including, of course, many tourists.
The Antiques Market in Arezzo has been the first to have a lasting and regular success and it was in past years the scene of real hunting to the best pieces, even the day before the opening of the market, when the best pieces were still packaged on tracks. Exhibitors come from all over Italy and offer their items with a very broad overview of cultural traditions and regional costumes.
Besides the outdoor stalls there are antique shops which are an old tradition in Arezzo. The variety of items found in some shops reflects the same diversity that is found in the stalls: antique furniture, paintings, different fancy items not only for age but also for quality, mixed with no order leaving to the visitor the pleasure of discovery. But some other are the preferred destination for researchers and collectors, with selected pieces and great specialization: old books, scientific instruments, classical archaeology, liberty windows, art deco objects, jewellery, watches, silverware , 19th and 20th Century paintings, as well as furniture and old time objects.
Lately, in coincidence with each market, some initiatives like antique exhibitions and meetings have taken place, with qualified exhibitors proposing some selected pieces within prestigious galleries.
The offer is very diverse to meet the needs of the most demanding collectors and art lovers. But also non connoisseurs will have the chance to enjoy the visit to the Antiques Market in Arezzo: they will find a great choice and also those who, with patience, will give explanations and assurances.
In recent years there was a major growth in the sector of restoration as well. This has helped, along with that of art historians which was already very active, the formation of an environment suitable for new initiatives: better preservation and enhancement of artistic heritage publicly owned that has ended up stimulating the Antiques Market itself.
Numerous furniture restorers, thanks to their great tradition and experience, will be able to solve even the most difficult and complex problem. The fame and respect, sometimes almost myth surrounding the most famous Antiques Market in Italy provide a constant presence of vendors in any season and any time, without influence in the prices.
The event, ideated and strongly wanted by the Aretino Ivan Bruschi, is the most popular and visited by Italian and foreign tourists, thanks to the scenery of an artistic and architectural landscape of enormous value.
Where: The historical town centre of Arezzo: Piazza San Francesco, Piazza grande, Corso Italia and the surrounding alleys.
When: The first Sunday of every month and the Saturday before.
By train: Most trains going from Florence to Rome will stop at Arezzo. The market is just 10 minutes away from the station.
By car: Once arrived in town follow signs for “Petri” car park. The escalator leads in front of the duomo in the highest part of the town centre, where the market is