> SlowTrav > Stories > Pauline's Pages > 2000, England, Italy

Spring 2000 - England and Italy

Italy Photos 1

Celle sul Rigo

Celle sul Rigo: This is the town where we spent our first two weeks. Our house is just outside the city walls, on the other side of the hill. If you look closely you will see that the town is having some erosion problems. They are building huge retaining walls on the hillside.

San Casciano dei Bagni

San Casciano dei Bagni: This beautiful hill town is only 5 kms from Celle sul Rigo. It is a larger and livelier town. We go here for coffee, newspapers, shopping.


Pitigliano: We had a day out in the south-west corner of Tuscany. The day was centered around lunch at our favorite restaurant in Saturnia, but included visits to the incredible hill towns like Pitigliano. You drive along these narrow, very winding roads and all of a sudden you turn a corner and come upon this vista. It is breathtaking. Really breathtaking. I was driving and as I turned the corner and saw the view, out of the corner of my eye I saw a car in my very narrow lane backing up towards me. He wanted to look at the view some more. I am happy to say that I didn't hit him. But, a few minutes later, driving up the other side of the valley through this town, on a very sharp and very steep corner which included broken glass on the road, confusing direction signs, people walking, and lots of cars, I took the turn so wide that oncoming traffic had to stop and I almost drove into the city wall! I am proud to say that I did not stall out the car - just shifted into second, turned tight to miss the wall, and waved to the cars that stopped! My driving is improving.


We are such suckers for the Renaissance painter called "Il Sodoma". This web site is full of pieces of his frescoes - the badgers, the plants, the cat. His best known series of frescos is in Monte Oliveto Maggiore, which we saw last year. This year we found a couple of frescos in a little church outside of Pienza (Sant'Anna). This was his first commission, done when he was 25. Look at the fluffy white dog in the bottom corner. He liked to include his pets in his frescos. So, lets see - we have Jesus and some apostles doing talking to that little cherub and we have a little dog watching. Huh?


I read about one series of frescos where the painter's lover dumped him, so he painted her as the whore in the fresco. All they could paint back then were religious stories, so they had to improvise to add modern content!


This sign taped to the back of a toilet says "Please, do not pee on the floor. Thanks." Note the anatomically exaggerated picture.

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