AREZZO

inside those walls was built a city in the 1200s and 1300s. Those buildings and streets not only still stand, they thrive.

A modern Arezzo — charming, active, quaint — surrounds Historic Arezzo. Strikes me as something similar to an Americana city of years past. Think Ponca City 1968, or Bartlesville 1972. There’s a Singer sewing store right across the street from our hotel.

But Historic Arezzo is not a museum, unless you call it a living museum. Within Historic Arezzo are narrow stone streets, maybe 20 feet wide from building to building, built on the side of a hill, filled with commerce and residences. Banks, churches, restaurants, hair salons, what we would call convenience stores, retail shops, medical offices and massive old doors that lead up to apartment buildings.

Within Historic Arezzo are some plazas — including the Piazza Grande, which dates to the 1200s and includes an ancient church, Santa Maria della Pieve, and the Palace of the Lay Fraternity, which has been the seat of Arezzo government for centuries.

You can walk to the top of part of the wall, which allows you to overlook the Tuscany countryside. It’s impossible to describe Arezzo’s charm.