In the 6 centuries before the Christian Era, this part of Italy was inhabited by the Etruscans. They are hard to study, since they were conquered and absorbed by the Romans.
We have some ruins near our house, but an official “dig” closed in the 1990’s. The one in Camucia (next town north) is still being actively worked and dates back to six centuries before Christ.
It was ringed by a big fence, but The lady with the dog in a trailer said we could go in for a “moment”…so we took 30 minutes to tour it.
This site reminded us of New Grange above Dublin from a similar time period. However, no one was buried at New Grange…it was a measuring device for the sun’s rebirth each year at the winter solstice.
We then headed up the hill toward Cortona to see two places that we had spotted from above – a huge cemetery – and the church of Santa Maria Nuova.
Back in the car to do some more switchbacks up to the church.
From here, we could look down into the valley and see that huge cemetery again, with some of the Cypress trees lining one corner.
We then went into Cortona to find our favorite lunch place – Pozzo Antico – closed. Drats…we wanted to enjoy our lady owner and her food again. We settled for La Bucaccia – rumored to be the “best”. The owner, Romano, was quite a character and sat with us while we ordered.
Then, since the Friday forecast called for rain (we have enjoyed 14 days of perfection in weather) we decided to hit another Tuscan hill town – Lucignano.
We headed for the museum and find Signorelli’s painting of St. Francis there, but his most famous piece in town – the “Tree of Life” – is locked in the church…only open on weekends.
Then, back home to clean up to go the the Molesini’s wine tasting in Cortona Piazza Repubblica and dinner at Pane e Vino.
we had a four-course meal with paired wine. Neither were a big success according to most of our crowd. It’s a shame, since our efforts to attend after more-than-a-full day of adventures took some extra strength.
We will all be back on the playing field again on Friday…as long as our first rain day doesn’t find us hiding in our rooms, curled up with a good book.