Thursday, August 11, 2011

Under the Tuscan Sun...

Cliche as it is, the lure of Under the Tuscan Sun was just too much for us!  Saturday found us in Cortona...a place that rises so steeply up the hill, you ride not one but two escalators just to get to Piazza Garibaldi from the parking area down below (and from Piazza Garibaldi, you go uphill some more to the historic centre!)  Here is mom on the first of these escalators, maybe halfway up when I snapped the pic.  Oh and we had already climbed some stairs as well...


Surprise!  Saturday was market day...just like in the movie, when Frances arrives in Cortona on her gay tour of Tuscany!  And yes, the sights, the sounds, the smells really all were delicious...one could drink them in for hours...or at least until the hordes of fellow tourists got too much and a quiet corner was needed!  On the left is the stall where I bought matching (duh!) table cloths for me and Valerie (who could resist a 100% cotton, brightly patterned, 8 foot long, made in Italy, table cloth for 9 euro??)


Here is the cloth, up close and personal (I took this pic after we got back to our house in Cetona).  There were other patterns and colours, some of them very lovely, but I got stuck on this one.  I think it is so vibrant and cheery and full of life!


We also stopped into Il Girasoli, a beautiful Etruscan gift shop.  I was going to introduce myself to Alessandra Federici, who is also member of the Slow Travel community, as am I.  Unfortunately, she was not in the shop at the time.  But mom bought a gorgeous pair of earrings, and a souvenir that a certain someone will be delighted with, I am sure!


We wandered along to the Duomo...unfortunately closed.  But the Diocesan Museum across the piazza was open, so we toured it.  Well, this was an astonishing surprise and feast for the eyes!  This museum contains some amazing paintings, including Fra Angelica's Annunciation (although I still prefer his frescoed Annunciation in San Marco in Florence) and three masterpieces by Luca Signorelli (the hometown artist).  After drinking in the art, we decided we needed to drink in some wine! So along we went to find a ristorante, trattoria or whatever other food establishment we came across.  While we were strolling, we saw a movie being filmed.  I can't for the life of me recall the (American?) actress's name, although I have seen her in several movies.  We saw her a few times around the town, seemingly on a break, or perhaps filming had been wrapped up for the day.  At one point, she was standing just outside the restaurant where we were having lunch, and Mom snapped a couple photos...if anyone knows her name, let me know!




After our very late lunch, we ambled around a while, soaking in the scenery, marvelling at the narrow streets and taking photos (as always!)  One of the many steep streets...

And another...this one cuts across Cortona's one and only flat street Via Nazionale so you can get a good perspective of how long a climb it would be from one end to the other.  Here is this smaller street looking up from Via Nazionale:

And looking down:

The view from the lovely terrace encircling Piazza Garibaldi.


Even though the terrace is at the lower end of the town, you still have that on top of the world feeling!


And then we drove out of town the back way, because we couldn't resist trying to catch a glimpse of Bramasole...alas, we never found it.  But we did find some very charming little roads, like the one below.  We very much enjoyed our day in Cortona!



6 comments:

sandrac said...

Cortona is a great town, isn't it? And I agree about the Annunciation; I like Fra Angelico's version in Cortona but really love his frescoed version in San Marco.

Trekcapri said...

Hi Anne, sounds like you're really enjoying yourselves "drinking in the art and wine" here in Cortona (another place now on my radar thanks to reading your blog). I love the table cloth you bought. The design is beautiful and so cheerful.

I'm afraid I can't recognize the actress for you, but I'm not very good at recognizing many celebrities. I'll be curious to see if someone can. How exciting to be there during a filing. I love Under the Tuscan Sun and like you, I was so motivated by the movie that my friend and I had to visit at least one town in Tuscany back in 2005. We went to Siena. I would love to visit here too.

Thanks so much for continuing to share your wonderful photos and experiences. Keep on having fun...

Anonymous said...

I think the actress is Debi Mazar. Love your blog! Enjoy your trip.

SJ(Shelagh) said...

I'm enjoying your blog, Anne.
The actress looks like Marcia Gay Harden; or it could be the one from "Gilmour Girls", though I don't know her name.

Anne said...

Sandra, you and I seem to have remarkably similar taste in art!

Trekcapri, Cortona is well worth visiting, such a charming place and we only scratched the surface, I'm sure!

Thanks Shelagh and Anon...Debi Mazar it is! I have since found out that she has a cooking show with her Italian husband, and am thinking that is what they were filming (since the scene involved a food vendor). A fun brush with celebrity!

JDeQ said...

Anne - thanks for the Cortona info. I have never been there and hope to correct that on our trip in October

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...