“If she hadn’t been by my side, I could have imagined climbing up to the castle to free her from a dragon or a ferocious knight who had kidnapped her.”
Tuscany’s landscape plays with our fantasy and inspires us to daydream. The tastes of wine and typical products in the castles up on the hills bring us to imagine organizing a big medieval wedding, with the guests in costume, with jesters, the music, the grand banqueting table prepared as those times. “How beautiful Audrey would be, dressed as a lady”, I think, sure that she already has the posture and the elegant beauty of a real princess.
While we have fun discussing on the theme menu, we enter the marvelous Val d’Orcia, with the intention to have a little relaxing break at the thermal baths. The valley, cultural UNESCO landscape, wears its years well, maintaining the aspect it already had in Middle Ages almost untouched. We recognize its velvet hills which we admired in the paintings by Scuola Senese artists so many times.
As I drive along the streets followed by cypresses, Audrey takes the Love me in Tuscany guidebook and starts reading to me some information about Val d’Orcia with its schoolteacher attitude that makes me laugh so much. This way I learn that the valley was born millions of years ago, when the sea retreated, leaving sand and clay. Later, also Radicofani and Amiata’s volcanoes contributed to its formation, erupting the lava that created the dark rocks of the valley.
Charmed by what seems almost a mythical tale, we observe how man was respectful towards the nature that surrounded him, maybe too enchanting to be destroyed. The urban complex of Pienza e Montalcino, the Abbey of St. Antimo, Radicofani and Rocca d’Orcia, the Collegiate Church of San Quirico, the Granary of Spedaletto… human genius blended with the landscape: the Natural reserve of Lucciola Bella, the Biotopes of Mediterranean Macchia and of the White Fir in the district of Castiglione d’Orcia, the badlands, the white domed sulphurous fumaroles, the clay hills.
We spend two days in Bagno Vignoni, immersed in the hot waters of the Medieval thermal baths. On the footsteps of Nostalghia by Andrej Tarkovskij, we stroll through the streets of the town, built around the sixteenth-century pool of Piazza delle Sorgenti containing the thermal spring ancient Romans already appreciated.
“We need to revive poetry, bring it to the streets, to the cities, spread verses in the metropolises and villages, to understand that poetry is one of the simplest things, in the seed of life itself…” (Andrej Tarkovskij)
The director’s choice to shoot some scenes in San Galgano open-air Abbey in Chiusdino district encourage us to visit it, curious about its unique structure and the legend surrounding it. Amazed, we read that the construction of the first building of the complex, formed by the Abbey and the Rotonda di Montesiepi, started in 1181, in the place and year the Saint died. Besides, inside the thick Roman-Gothic walls a treasure is enclosed: the sword the reformed former knight thrusted into the rock during its hermitage with the intention of turning it into a cross.
I feel like Lancelot and Audrey is my Guinevere as the sun sets at the horizon and the stars light up in the sky, stage lights of this marvelous theather we are the main actors of.
“But what if we got married here, on an evening like this, under the stars?”
For a further taste of romantic Tuscany, Love me in Tuscany.
The complete guide to the perfect love trip is Love me in Tuscany.