The Pope's place

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June 12th 2013
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Pienza, is a town which was totally redesigned by Pope Pius the 2nd, who came from there. He certainly knew what he was doing as this town is a delight to walk through. However it is popular which means parking is difficult in such a small place. Luckily we found that by driving out down the main road there is free parking only 10 minutes walk down the hill. The town is entered through the archway in the old city wall and really comprises of one main narrow pedestrian street with lots of lovely shops particularly cheese and wine stores. The church has several quite nice altar pieces but as it has been built on the very edge of the hill it has started to crack as the earth below has moved. How long it will last I do not know. Wandering down any of the little side streets you come across a walled walk with spectacular views over the Tuscan countryside.
Lunch in La Terrazza e le Corte is a total delight, sitting at a round table overlooking the lovely view. The food here is excellent and I can recommend the pumpkin soup with prawn, the seabass and turbot. The spinach ravioli with clams is divine.
Thus replenished I can also recommend a trip round the Popes palace, another house and garden he designed. The tour takes only half an hour and there were only the four of us on it. Supplied with hand held audio phones we were shown into each room and our guide held up a number to tell us which button to press. We then listened to a short recording pointing out the most important bits of furniture or painting in the room. Just right as not too much information.
We then drove rapidly back home stopping briefly in Montalcino, but we were too late to really appreciate it. Paul drove to the station to pick up his two sisters, who were to stay with us for the next couple of days,on their way through to Sicily . The owner of our villa cooked us all dinner in the evening as we couldn't be bothered doing anything ourselves. Her seafood pasta was excellent. As it was the Queen's official birthday we did toast Her Majesty with champagne before dinner and then the 6 of us consumed many a bottle of very good wine.
If you are getting the feeling that our trips are based on small visits to see something cultural but otherwise based around food and wine, you will be perfectly correct!

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21st June 2013

yep - we went back - and, yep, Doll got her bracelet!

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