Montepuliciano- August 6: Hilltown Hopping

When we woke up and looked out the window down the hill, we could see people at other accommodations being served breakfast outside. Our breakfast was cappucino and various cakes and tarts. What a nice treat for a bear to have homemade cakes with each breakfast.

Today we visited hilltop towns. Our first town was Pienza. The Duomo is built in a classic symmetrical Rennaissance style. Lunch, at the La Taverna di Ri Artu, was bruschetta with basil, mozarella, and fresh tomatoes. Just as we finished eating, a family threw their dish water out the window splashing water on the customers.

Next we visited San Quirico. The town looked lovely with ancient walls surrounding it and a contraption that looked like a catapault. It was siesta time so we walked around and tried some gelati.

We followed a side road to Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore. There are famous frescos showing the life of St Benedict. We were amazed that there was no charge. I saw an interesting dining room where the monks eat. Each place was set with bread, a simple white soup plate, and as an interesting contrast, commercially produced bottled water. In the ancient library are old snow white books and a display of photos and sketches of monks who have lived there over the ages.

Our last stop was Montalcino. The town had a lively pedestrian zone with shops full of wine, olive oil, pasta, cookies, and spices. At the 14th century fort we stopped at the Enoteca (wine bar) to try some wine. We split a cheese and salami plate and it was delicious.

When we got back into town tonight it was difficult to find our way to the parking lot. The town has a zigzag of streets rising and falling at a steep angle. We walked around town and saw a musical theater group practicing in the piazza even though it was 11:00 PM. We have heard there is an excellent music school in town.

"Faces on the Wall At The Abbey"

Faces on the wall
Some photographed, others sketched
Who were these people
now watching over this library
full of ghostly white books?


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