Pienza, from Monticchiello 12 noon June 20 2012
Thirty five or so years ago, when I went on a good many wonderful fun (but hard working!) trips with my then boss and predecessor as General Administrator of Glyndebourne, Moran Caplat, we made a diversion when driving from Venice to Rome to pop up to Pienza. I have longed to go back there – and today I did.
This is an enchanting place that any visitor to Tuscany should try to see. If you are south of Siena it is an easy ride, especially if you want to take in Montepulciano and/or Montalcino, as you should. Distances are short and the driving easy. And all these destinations are worth a detour, for the beauty of the landscape, the charm of these small towns, and of course the superb country cooking in the restaurants.
A 6 mile ride away from Pienza is Monticchiello. And there you will find a medieval village and a splendid 21st century restaurant, the Osteria La Porta. This is a perfect place for a midday extended pause – something very welcome after exhausting sightseeing in the heat of the Italian June.
A typical corner of Monticchiello June 20 2012
Back in Certaldo a trip is required up the funicular to Certaldo Alto, the home and final resting place of Boccaccio. You will find his house on the Via Boccaccio, as well as his tomb in the adjacent church.
I think that it has been cooler today but still way into the 80s. Lovely!
Via Boccaccio, Certaldo Alto