On Monday we started our day with an hour-long train ride to the small town of Arezzo. Together we explored the beautiful Basilica of San Francesco and its altar frescoes painted by Pierro della Francesca. The incredible colors and details of the frescoes were awe-inspiring, and we enjoyed learning the story of the True Cross on which they were based. After viewing the church, we were then given free time to wander Arezzo and experience the culture of a smaller Italian town. Some of the sights we saw around town were the ruins of a former Roman ampitheater, a Medicci fort, and the duomo on top of the hill. It was a relaxing, slower-paced day and we enjoyed being able to compare it to our time in Florence.
Tuesday morning we had our first opportunity to sleep in, and, well-rested, we were able to have a great student-led discussion about the Pierro della Francesco frescoes we had seen the day before. We used a game to spark inspiration and conversation on the feelings and opinions we had developed about the architecture of the church and the frescoes within, as well as comparing certain scenes to those we had seen portrayed by other artists. We are excited to continue our exploration of Renaissance art, here in Italy, and look forward to our second day trip, to Siena, tomorrow.