Aahhh.... Dreams of Bella Tuscany~
I am currently reading Francis Mayes, Bella Tuscany.
I stumbled upon this author while in Italy in March,2003.
With the trusted Rick Steve's travel guide in hand, we mapped out a little scenic drive through the Tuscan hill towns in central Italy along the less traveled road ,sometimes loosing our bearings and ending up in someone's yard picnicking and sharing cheese and bread with the owner of the Villa's dog near Pienza. He'll never tell he entertained foreigners on the front lawn~
There were places that took our breath away as we approached the steep slopes leading up to the top of the hill and to the gate of the town ,welcoming us in to their medieval cobblestone streets. The towns had names that were a challenge to pronounce and we most likely mispronounced them. Some faint remembrances of these gems,recalling the wind that whipped through the vacant streets at siesta in Montalcino, the tall towers that have stood so stately over hundreds of years, Steve disappearing in one town only to reappear with the discovery of a most beautiful mosaic in a most unusual place.
This drive took us on to Cortona~
Oh yes ,the book Under The Tuscan Sun was written and in print, but I had no idea that I would be so enchanted by Ms. Mayes romantic descripions of the countryside called Tuscany. I feel as if I am in the back seat of her car riding along in the adventure as it unfolds, page by page, chapter by chapter. It makes me want to buy an abandoned property and refurbish and make it my home too~
This Fall I read Bringing Tuscany Home,and found it as charming.With pictures it increased my desire to return and walk the dusty lanes and view the horizon form a distant hilltop, my imagination stirred . I remembered driving just a "little further " up the road that wound past the town and into the upper hills, possibly just up the way was Bramasole~
We sat in town and had a gelato at the exact same place that Dianne Ladd wrote the colorful postcard for a traveling friend about this beautiful spot, not knowing that a movie about Cortona would be filmed there. We wandered the streets and peeked in shops and sat in a little cafe bar for a cappuccino and took in the view and ambiance of the Piazza della Repubblica, sans the fountain.
We were invited to attend an art exhibit of an English woman next door to the cafe bar,which we attended and then went to the American art student's exhibit in one of the many vastly large buildings close by. Was this English artist a friend of Ms, Mayes? Perhaps she attended this event without us ever realising we were in the same room~ Again we saw the artist and friend as I looked out the train window upon arrival to one of our other destinations, perhaps Rome.
Strange that our paths crossed at another time and place.
I am ready for another adventure into yet another book and have several waiting to be traveled soon~
I know that this next holiday will be seen through more than just my eyes.
Perhaps my wish to see and walk the gardens of Bramisole will come true~