Italy – Tuscany Pienza & Surroundings

Our first full day after arriving in Montalcino, we followed Robert’s advice and did a big circle around the Val d’Orcia, starting with a visit to the Sant’Antimo Abbey, then on to Bagno Vignoni and ending up in Pienza, another World Heritage Site and the hill-top town with the most iconic views of the Tuscan countryside.

 

We arrived in the early morning to a beautiful view of Sant’Antimo Abbey.

 

After a few minutes a bus arrived with a group of students, who enjoyed the grounds around the abbey.

 

We wandered around taking photos. Grima found a beautiful view of red Italian poppies with the abbey in the background. We set up our individual viewpoints, took a few snaps, and then turned around to see half a busload of Asian tourists behind us copying our view.

 

While there glanced inside the main chapel during a service, listening to the monks’ chants in the simplicity of the space, quite different than the majority of the grandiose chapels in other parts of the country.

 

The abbey gardens with the Tuscan countryside in the background – amazing place for meditation.

 

From the abbey, we headed to the Bagno Vignoni, but on the way stopped at a roadside restaurant for a bite of lunch. Inside every table was occupied by locals – all men – playing cards. We had the feeling that this was an everyday occurrence.

 

Up the road a bit saw this interesting hilltop structure. Unfortunately I didn’t record the exact place or name but felt the view with the jet contrail showed an interesting juxtaposition of the old and new.

 

The Bagno Vignoni, dated from Roman times, gave us an interesting look into the engineering prowess of the empire 2,000 years ago.

 

Grima took advantage of the thermal waters to soak her feet

 

We ended the day in Pienza, where captured this view of a Tuscan villa with the typical Italian cypresses lining the road and beautiful rolling, manicured hills receding into the background.

 

Was fascinated by the copper implements display hanging on the wall of this hardware shop in Pienza.

 

And ended the evening with a soft, beautiful Tuscan sunset.

 

 

So, more to come. Love to hear what you have to say about our travels.

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