Last Saturday we went to visit friends who live in Tuscany close to Cortona. I love the idea that we can get in the car and drive to places in Italy that hold a certain magic. Rome, Florence, Siena, Venice all these beautiful places are within a few hours drive from our home in Le Marche.
Even though it was still early March the weather was warm and for once the wind was not too blustery. On other occasions when we have visited our friends in the Tuscan hills the wind has whistled round the house keeping us awake by making the shutters bang and whipping the trees into a frenzy.
We were able to take our lunch outside and were served cold meats, cheeses, bread, olives and delicious tomatoes in our host’s own olive oil. From the terrace there are views across to Cortona on the opposite hill and looking towards the west is a massive valley, my imagination allowed me to think of Hannibal and his huge army marching across here on his way to Lake Trasimeno. Actually, I don’t know any of the historical facts about this battle or the surrounding area but the landscape permits me to drift into a past world and picture people in earlier times, how they lived, worked and ultimately died. I love envisioning history. Pity I’m not more knowledgeable, fortunately my husband is so he can often conjure up a good story for me as we drive through the Italian countryside.
On Sunday we drove to Arezzo a wonderful town with an historic centre full of twists and turns and paved streets. The main square is an eclectic mix of architectural styles and on this particular Sunday the monthly antiques fair was taking place.
The square and surrounding streets were full of stalls selling furniture, clothes, machinery, linen, art, artefacts, jewellery…..the list goes on. I saw a few lovely pieces and would have been tempted had the coffers not been so low!