Arezzo’s Antiques Fair is the oldest in Italy. It was established in 1968 thanks to collector and antiques dealer Ivan Bruschi, who also happens to have an Antiques Museum named after him in the city. For over fifty years, it has been a fixed appointment for connoisseurs and curious visitors alike. It takes place every first Sunday of the month, as well as the Saturday before, in the main square of Arezzo, the evocative Piazza Grande, underneath the tall arcades of Palazzo delle Logge and in Piazza San Francesco. Many stalls spread over to the side alleys and the smaller squares of the historical centre, as well, completely transforming the city.
Visitors can find just about anything amongst the hundreds of stands of the Antiques Fair. The city is taken over by a motley collection of furniture, paintings, prints, books, toys, grandfather clocks, Roman coins, all kinds of knick-knacks and even medieval tools of torture. Every object sold comes with a certificate of authenticity.
The variety of objects available in the outdoor stands is mirrored by the selection offered by the antiques shops. They are a tradition in Arezzo: numerous and well established, they have everything an art collector might want, from antique furniture to old books, from scientific instruments to classical archaeology. They are open all year round.
During the two years since Badia di Pomaio’s opening, many antiques lovers stayed with us to visit the Antiques Fair during the day and relax during the evening. Most of them came back with interesting pieces of antique, from the more common paintings and books, to the far more peculiar doors and old-age dolls. Just a few months ago, a pillory – a wooden board with holes for wrists and neck, used in medieval times for punishment and torture – was delivered to the hotel in the early morning for one of our guest. It was placed just in front of the reception, waiting for its owner, and it certainly left an impression on the staff and the other guests who saw it.
In recent years, the Antiques Fair has had an unexpected effect on the city: the sector of restoration grew visibly. Art restorers, with the help and support of historians, art historians, collectors and galleries have created the perfect environment for the safeguard and the enhancement of the vast artistic heritage of the city (and of Tuscany, as well).
Often, in coincidence with the Antiques Fair, qualified exhibitors hold antiques exhibitions to answer the needs of the most demanding collectors.