Arezzo and Crotona

Ciao a Tutti! (Hello All!!)

Façade of Arezzo Church

This week has been filled with great adventures and has been very busy! ISA, the program I am studying abroad with, in took us to Arezzo and Crotona this weekend! It was beautiful! Arezzo is where “Life is Beautiful” was filmed and Crotona is where “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed! Both are beautiful historic hill-towns of Italy.

Medieval demonstration in Arrezo

Arrezo is a small medieval town. We had the privilege to see a medieval demonstration while we were there. A bunch of locals dress up in medieval garb and marched in front of the church while playing the trumpet and drums. It was a unique sight to see. In Piazza Grande, the main plaza of Arrezo, they have Giostra del Saracino (“Joust of the Saracen” – a jousting reenactment) once a year. The town is divided into 4 colors and a knight represents each color. The knight must hit a target with his spear on horseback. We played a medieval jousting game in the square that I will have to show you guys when I get back!

Piazza Grande, Arrezo

Cortona was my favorite of the two towns! It was another medieval town on a giant hill! It was a hike to climb up! The town is very cute and has little walkways that would be so much fun to explore! The whole town over looks a large valley.  You can see so much from this little hill town.

This is the view from Cortona! Amazing!

The stores in both the towns and Florence are all very small, no Wal-Mart or Target in Italy! Just very little mom and pop shops- most are just the size of one room! Each store is different and unique. Most are very old and historic because they are in old historic buildings. Most stores are family owned and the family members are the employees.


I had the pleasure of getting my first Italian cannoli (cannolo in Italian) in a very small bakery in Cortona and I think I’m hooked. It’s a fried shell with a sweet cream and chocolate on the inside. Have you ever tried one in America? Delizioso (Delicious)!!


Food is HUGE in Italy. They love cooking and eating! Their culture is based around the dinner table. Nothing is “to-go” here. When I ordered un café con latte (an espresso with milk) to go the barista gave me a strange look! She told me she didn’t have to-go cups and put it in a plastic cup for me. Italians expect you to sit and enjoy their food they find it disrespectful to leave with it or take food home. Usually when you go out to eat they serve small portions and expect you to finish, not take it home!

Ciao for Now!

Lauren Wederich
Classmates Connecting Cultures
Florence, Italy
Spring 2012

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