Thursday we go way back in time…3,000 years. 

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. 

we found the excavation of a giant tomb mound nearby.

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.  


These mounds, covered with grass, hid the burial vaults of powerful Etruscans.
  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. 

this place is vast and still in use for burials…some amazing art notes passages of important folks.

our ladies all volunteered to sling their bodies across our caskets…mot.
  Back in the car to do some more switchbacks up to the church. 


Santa Maria Nuova was closed, but Patricia is painting the dome and wanted to be closer.
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. 


shall we use the term “a quart high with self-esteem” to describe him? food was great.
  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. 
this town has changed little of its circular layout simce the Middle Ages. church in the center holds some Luca Signorelli art.
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. 

here Francis receives the Stigmata from an angel.

here is Signorelli’s Tree. can you tell we are leaning on our Patsy and her art history Master’s degree ?
  Then, back home to clean up to go the the Molesini’s wine tasting in Cortona Piazza Repubblica and dinner at Pane e Vino. 


Marco Molesini introduces the lady from Allegrini Vineyards
 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. 


Lifelong Philadelphia area Realtor. Now a 13-year citizen of Sanibel, Florida. Married to Nancy for 54 years. Three children (2 in Devon; 1 in Steamboat Springs, CO) and 5 grandkids (1 in college/1 working). We are helping with charities involving poverty, kids and education. Helping to lead Captiva's Chapel by the Sea.

One comment

  • There’s a footpath that takes you up the hill from Cortona, all the way to Santa Maria Nuova. When Dave & I trekked it a few years ago, we walked into thick fog halfway up which cleared once we approached the chiesa…and then halfway down the hill we were met with full-on rain. One of many cherished memories of our beloved Italia.
    On a different note, my mother once told me, “there’s one thing better than curling up in bed with a good book…that’s curling up with someone who’s read a good book”!
    Baci e abbracci!


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