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June 2013 - Page 5
ITALY, con'd.
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The Roman road leading out of the hill-top town of Anghiari.  That's Giuseppe Garibaldi on the right.
According to Roman tradition, all statues must face, or point to, Rome.  But this guy is pointing in the opposite direction!
View from higher up the road in scenic Anghiari.
Nancy's favorite place in Anghiari was the Busatti Linen shop.
We were able to tour the looms in the basement, some of which
have been in operation for over 100 years.  They are electricaly
powered and mechanically controlled by cardboard punch cards
like a player piano.  Very cool!  They can make custom designs
for you - for a hefty price, of course.
Our next stop, near Anghiari, was the "Ravagni since 1491"
olive oil mill (and B&B) which has been run by the Bartolomei
family since the 18th century.  Above, enthusiastic owner,
Francesco Bartolomei gives us a tour of his pressing mill.
After the olive mill tour, Francesco hosted a lovely outdoor
lunch which included olive oil tasting.  There were more
than a dozen oils to try.  Nancy's fovorite was "sage".
Under the table at lunch: three sleeping puppies!
Another stop on our tour was the Valle di Mezzo goat
farm where we watched a milking and sampled various
goat cheeses.  The farm is owned by American, "Brent"
who gave us a very enthusiastic tour & cheese tasting.
Certainly the cleanest, best smelling goats we'd ever seen!
A final stop on our tour was a wine tasting at the beautifully
restored
Villa La Ripa belonging to psychiatrist, Dr. Luzzi.  
His wines were good, but his villa was amazing!  Yet another
very enthusiastic spokesman for his product.  A fun visit.
On our "free day" we drove from
Torre del Tartufo to the nearby
towns of
Arezzo, Cortona and
Montepuliano.  
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Another Roman road.  This one, from the top of the hill in Arezzo.
Some amazing ceiling painting in the
San Domenico Church in Arezzo.
Cortona was another hill-top town with amazing views.
Caught in the rain in Cortona - still a pretty place to hang out.
The Piazza della Repubblica in Cortona.
Our final stop for the day, and climax of our trip, MONTEPULCIANO!  A  panoramic view of Tuscany from this beautiful spot.
The Piazza Grande in Montepulciano.  The Florentine influence is
evident here.  On the left is the
Duomo with unfinished outside walls.
The Torre di Pulcinella in Montepulciano.  
The figure (Punch, of Punch & Judy fame)
strikes the bell on the hour.
We had an excellent lunch here of pizza-like bruschetti
and were able to escape most of the downpour - before
heading out to our final destination: Montepulciano.
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Click on photo to see full-screen size...
Early in the morning of Sunday, June 30th
we drove back to
Peretola Airport (FLR),
caught our 7 AM flight to Schiphol (AMS),
connected to our 11:30 KLM flight to Boston,
arrived in time to catch the 1:20 PM C&J bus
- which brought us
home to Portsmouth,
NH by 3PM
.  All in all, an excellent trip!
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Back home, we took advantage of Comcast "On Demand" to
watch "
Under the Tuscan Sun".  Sure enough, we instantly
recognized the locations.  Frances (the heroine played by
Diane Lane) arrives by bus in
Cortona, they walk around the
Piazza della Repubblica on market day.  Later, they go to
Montepulciano for the flag throwing contest which takes
place in the
Piazza Grande - also pictured above!
It was fun to watch and it gave us a whole new perspective.  
PS: If you haven't seen that movie, you should rent it!
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