Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Under The Tuscan Sun Within 3,000 Year Old Walls

Cortona, one of the oldest hill towns in Tuscany made famous by Frances Mayes' book Under The Tuscan Sun, was one of my favorite towns. I am a bit disappointed with my pictures from the trip. I found that I didn't concentrate on real "scenes", instead just found myself snapping at everything and often just looking more than actually photographing.

On this
particular day, the weather was very overcast, so it looks a bit dreary. This is the road we took to enter into Cortona. We parked outside of the city at the first available spot we found and walked in. Ed is right in the center of the street taking pictures. You can see that the direction it goes is only uphill. And as Wikipedia stated, "The prevailing character of Cortona’s architecture is medieval with steep narrow streets situated on a hillside (altitude 600 metres), embracing a view of the whole of the Valdichiana." Hear that? Steep and narrow. They were not lying.

We walked all the way up to the main square, Piazza della Repubblica, to find a wedding in progress. The attendees were milling around until it was time to greet the new bride and groom, who emerged from the door laughing and smiling, both looking radiant.

After we saw the couple kiss and take an official photo, we continued up the hill. They don't call these "Tuscan Hill Towns" for nothing. I have never done more walking in my life than I did on this trip. But once you get to the top of the hills, of streets that all look like this...

And you're passed up by 80-year old Italian women carrying grocery bags (on up and down slopes)...
You get to the very top, where you see the Tuscan sky and the setting evening sun hitting the old stone, making the colors appear golden.

And at the very top, you can see over the entire valley below and even get a peek at Lake Trasimeno in the distance (top left of photo)...


It's totally worth the aching feet and heavy breathing.


3 comments:

Gil said...

My mother used to say it was good luck to see a bride and/or wedding. I'll never forget on our first trip to Italy we saw a lady like the one in your picture riding a bicycle loaded down with bags uphill, smoking a cigarette, while I was huffing and puffing my way through Parma.

Liz said...

So beautiful. Thank you for sharing your photo's and impressions of your trip. :-D

Plum Trucker said...

My legs hurt just looking but it must be worth it. It deff. looks worth it. You captured so many wonderful moments from your trip to share, like a wedding how amazing is that.