Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 3 of 19 ... Pienza & Cortona, Tuscany

Night 2 at Villa Astrea ...

Today is Saturday and we went to Pienza and Cortona. They are both amazing ... Pienza being completely Medieval, untouched by modernization and Cortona so incredibly charming and what I thought of when I would imagine what Italy would feel like. The alleys between these tall structures make it shady and lovely to walk thru ...

This is Francesco and I in the back area by the pool.

Cortona is surrounded by Etruscan walls, around 3000 years old. It retains much of its history through its architecture, layers of history built upon the Etruscan core. The plain below Cortona is speckled with Etruscan tombs. But Cortona isn't just about the past; Cortona's thriving Expat community is quite involved with the city, so a tourist speaking only English will feel welcome--and have interesting things to do.

Yes, Cortona is the setting for "Under the Tuscan Sun." People I've talked to who live here can't really explain their attraction to friends who've never lived in Italy. Waking up, throwing open the shutters to the slant of sun in a piazza where merchants are setting up for business, having your morning cappuccino in a bar where the barista knows your name--how do you explain living in Cortona?

Enjoy these Cortona pictures. Click each picture to see it full size.

I felt like a needed a little protection ... so we enlisted the help of these 2 fine gentlemen!

Beauty everywhere

She at first ducked her head back in the window when she saw me taking a picture. But I pleaded in Italian ... Per favore? Just 1 picture please...then she came back

Only in Italy can you air your dirty landry ... it's NOT okay at my house!

It seemed like everywhere we looked, there were secret stairways that lead to another gorgeous area.

These steps lead to the church above. This was also a scene in the movie "Under The Tuscan Sun" where it was Christmas time and the choir was singing on the steps and Diane Lane's character walked down the steps ... this is Cortona

View from the church steps

Giant Sunflowers in fields as we drive from one city to the next

sunflower fields

Charm ... everywhere!

Beautiful store fronts

We had our "Coke-Lite" from this balcany. We would bring "T"s picture out EVERYWHERE we went (I wish I could post those pics of us holding her picture) so that she was indeed with us in this beautiful place.

Italian cat! We need to embrace this relaxing culture too ... just like the people and the animals.


Leah Reeves said...

You take GREAT pictures. Looks like you are having a great time.
Thanks for posting!!!!

Terry Gallina said...

Lisa, Your pictures are gorgeous. The city looks clean and enchanting. I love the giant sunflowers. Keep posting, Terry