I always hate to leave Perugia, it’s such an interesting city -- a little wild sometimes, given all the university students. That just adds to the vibrancy, I find.
But after a week there, it was time to move on, and Tuesday, my friend Philippe and I picked up a rental car at the main train station in Perugia and headed for Anghiari and the house we had rented.
A little background: I hadn’t before been familiar with Anghiari, a small, steep town just inside the Tuscan border with Umbria. It’s in an excellent position for anyone interested in art, near Arezzo, Sansepolcro, and not too far from Umbrian cities I love like Perugia and Gubbio. Even Assisi isn’t too far away!
The house is owned by a friend of my friend, V. who was supposed to travel with me this year, and had been keen on renting this house for years. The deal was all complete when V. cancelled out in April. But I wasw able to go ahead with another friend, Philippe.
We weren’t quite sure what to expect from the house or the town, but both have proven wonderful! I wrote this sitting on one of two lovely terraces in the home, this one off a very elegant dining room. The rooftop terrace is covered with gorgeous plants, wooden lounge chairs with comfy cushions, and both have great views of the terracotta roof tiles of Anghiari, looking towards the countryside around Sansepolcro.
The drive through pouring rain from Perugia Tuesday was fairly quick and easy -- no more than an hour in total. We stopped in Sansepolcro to visit the Coop and stock up on wine and groceries.
But we didn’t buy too much, since it was clear from the map of the town that we were in for a long haul carrying everything from the public parking lot where we left the car, up to the house. Thank God the town has installed an excellent elevator system that took us (and all our luggage and supplies) up several stories, from the parking lot to town. It was still a bit of a grunt, dragging everything up, up, up to the house -- which is built on three floors (lots of stairs for this trip!)
The house is so lovely and well-organized that we both love it already -- two very big bedrooms, one for each of us, two recently finished bathroom, a washing machine (which I tested yesterday -- only 2 hours for my medium-sized load of wash built up after a week on the road..) The dryer also looks good, although the owner warned that it’s so slow, we’d be better using the clothesline on the roof top terrace. Good advice!
We spent this morning wandering around Anghiari, which is remarkably hilly (as you’d expect!) and visiting its major museum -- an eclectic collection of church artifacts, large ceramics in the style of the della Robbia, and some frescos. Very interesting.
But tomorrow is the big art day -- we’re hitting a few stops on the Piero della Francesca trail! First Sansepolcro, to see the Resurrection; and Monterchi. Friday, we plan to head to Urbino (another stop on the PDF trail) and Saturday, Arezzo where I’ve booked tickets to see Piero’s fascinating Legend of The True Cross Cycle.