Fiera Antiquaria: Arezzo Antiques Fair

Just an hour from Florence is Arezzo – a beautiful Tuscan town which featured in the 1999 Oscar winning film “La Vita E’ Bella” with scenes shot in its main square which is host to an annual jousting competition and the antiques fair. I went to the antiques fair last year and spent several hours in this one square and its surrounding streets taking reams of photographs of antiques and furniture. Every time I turned around or walked a little bit further there was another mini scene of random objects sitting next to each other creating a quirky display. You can find old pin ball machines next to taxidermy and unwanted cinema seating next to a stall of hundreds of books and smiling porcelain animal figures. There were piles of old church decorations: statues of Jesus with only one arm next to candelabra and other religious objects. I even spotted a statue of Mary strapped with plastic ribbon (the kind to mark out a space that is out of bounds) to a metal barricade next to a small digger! The careless way in which antiques are seemingly abandoned creates scenes of contradiction that are brilliant to photograph. The fair is a good image of Italy: a country so filled with beautiful and intriguing places to discover that it is never ending just like the mounds of objects on display.

The fair is on from June 5th to 6th 2010 in the Piazza Grande.

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