We are probably pushing our luck trying to run the gauntlet of a third day of predicted rain, but we did so well with the previous two that we try anyway.
Our destination is Arezzo, north – east of us and an important commercial centre with historical roots dating back to the XII -XIII centuries. The Medicis built an important fortress here on the ruins of Etruscan fortifications. Their Fortezza has been partly restored and gives a good vantage view of the surrounding country side.
There is an extensive park leading to the Fortezza and we arrive just as the Cathedral bells start ringing for 12 o’clock which makes for a nice setting. Again the park is filled with trees in their lush spring growth and it is a shade of green we tend not to see back home. Just before entering the Fortezza, Tanya makes sure she has located the necessary facilities.
We are not so lucky today and get caught in a heavy rain just after André does an artistic composition of an old Etruscan horse sculpture.
Initially we hope to wait it out, but this looks set in so we bolt for the closest , warm lunch spot. A little bedraggled we munch on nice small paninis and by then we can make it back to the car. Just to be on the safe side for the evening, we pick up a small fruity concoction on a chocolate biscuit base with fresh cream filling , sprinkled with blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.
At home we have a quiet evening as André does a last sunset photo shoot in Tuscany. We decide on an early morning departure and transfer to our last destination in Umbria, the cute town of Spoleto.
This is such a great spot. Tucked into the hills above Spoleto the estate of the last surviving Count Della Genga. We are surrounded by 300ha of fields, forests and a gorgeous view back to Spoleto. We have the estate to ourselves although we suspect their may be a party brewing as our host is about to celebrate his 60 th birthday.
The unexpected bonus is we are greeted after driving through pressure release gates and animal grates by two very loudly woofing Maremma’s, Luna and Victor. I think Tanya is not convinced of their hospitality and keeps us between her and them:) After a quick bite of fresh pizza we head into town for some exploring.
The town of Spoleto has a famous Rocco Albornoziana, a fortress which is perched high above the city and is in very good shape. There is both a lift and a set of escalators that can take you there but André after seeing the entrance for them fails to bring our attention to it and we do the full 500 steps up ( a gelato paid for). The Ponte delle Torri built in the XIV th century to bridge the ravine between two fortresses unfortunately is closed. I think all of us were looking forward to walking along the top of it.
Spoleto has a famous Duomo which today is being guarded by a number of carabinieri as a film is being shot in the courtyard. We wait for the scene to finish before being let in.
The inside is very beautiful and simple and somehow it exudes a sense of peace and welcome. It is dedicated to Maria Della Assunta. The main altar just frescos of Santa Maria.
The one area that the cathedral does not challenge is Tanya’s record setting organ, this one although large is no comparison.
We have a little wait again to leave and it’s time to plan for dinner. Tonight we will cook at home, a nice taglietini with mushroom and puttanesca sauce. We feel that the beds will be very toasty and the absolute silence of the place will rock us to sleep.