Multipulciano/Pienza_ crisp and misty with spring

Back from Spring Break, and it was time to get back to work, or at least the study of Tuscany art and architecture history and culture.  That Wednesday we went another time to Florence to see the Academia (the David museum) and the Uffizi (Venus of the Sea, on the shell) both extremely huge things on the Florence academic to-do list.  I finally took the time to go in the marketplace in a district over by San Lorenzo in between the times at the museums.  Most people think that by market I meant all the leather jacket and shoe booths along the side of the road.  There is a giant warehouse like building built out of steel and glass in the middle of this downtown district, a two story haven for foodies and tourists who find the need to see what real Florentines are eating.  I went up to the second floor and wondered around the fruit and veggie booths.  It was just after lunch so the vendors were packing up. The cutest old lady (about 5 feet tall and 70+ years) sold me a few big navel oranges and a small pack of strawberries, deliciouslywarm from the sunshine coming through the skylights.  Thinking of her makes me smile even now. My parents arrived from the States on Thursday and met me at the study center for dinner that night, tired but happy to be here.  We left Friday morning for Rome, for a three day tour there, then came back for my classes on Monday.  Wednesday we traveled with the Santa Chiara group to Montepulciano and then to Pienza, cities know for their Renaissance architecture as well as Montepulciano wine grapes, and dry sheep’s milk cheese called Pecorino.  Both very delicious in their own worlds.  The weather in Tuscany had been much cooler than it was in London and Paris_ strange I know.  We had thunderstorms and hail then sun then mists other days.  The temperament of the skies just made it that more real.

Castiglion silhouetteP1070784

My train schedule, photographed for my parents use on their arrival into FlorenceP1070789

Florence market, a place no tourist goesP1070800

Florence medieval architecture, a guild building I believeP1070806

Photograph taken in same location as favorite postcard of Florence, City Hall tower behind Rape of Sabines sculpture.P1070810

Pizza at great place in Rome with parents and friends! Still my favorite Tiramisu!P1080150

Stormy Castiglion to Val di Chiana beyondP1080263

Pear blooms in the ValleyP1080278

Porta Romana, some of the buildings inside the old medieval hilltown area are slivers in shape and run between the major intersections or entries to town. P1080317

Castiglion park I decided to use as my site for a community memorial garden. His little terrier dog barked at me every time he saw me, which was frequent since this covey became my favorite place in Castiglion.  The old man would always smile, he remembered me, but the dog always forgot.P1080326

Recycling signP1080288

Montepulciano centralized church San BaglioMontepulciano centralized church composite

Interior of San Baglio, MontepulcianoP1080492

Rainy countryside to west from Pienza, Tuscany P1080536

Interior of Pienza churchP1080548

Hanging gardens in Pope’s families place.  It was protected during WWII by special art and history forces.  Many places in Italy, including Castiglion, were victims of vandals.P1080578


The Pienza church is balanced on the edge of the rocky hill the city is on.  It forms one side of the “perfect Renaissance city square.” Do to the urban space developed, the church’s foundation was put in danger.  This crack is expanding from the bottom up, as the apse of the church threatens to slide to the valley.P1080618

More of beautiful rainy Tuscany_ a photo desitned to become a painting. P1080623


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