Eastern Tuscany For this portion of our walking tour of Tuscany we are headquartered in a former monastery on the outskirts of Cortona. The six days of walks are divided into 3 pages to keep each page a reasonable length. David and JR were the representatives on this tour as well, and Lorenzo, again, provided the hiking leadership and historical context. In this task he was assisted by Marco whose scientific knowledge was appreciated.
Chiana Valley - main canal on the left. The raised edges provided hiking and cycling paths
I was impressed with the scale of the ditches dug (by hand) to drain the lands.
Fields of mature sunflowers were a fairly common sight in Tuscany. The harvested seeds are used to produce cooking oil.
If Picasso did pizza - our group troops by this sign - must have been close to lunch time.
A statue of St. Francis who was to provide an unifying theme for this week's walks.
Arezzo city square: A view of the medieval buildings on the far side of the square.
The lovely old town of Arezzo - Which column is different? Humour must be a universal language.
6 - 7
Day 1 - Sunday
Val di Chiana used to be marsh with a mosquito / malaria problem. Draining the marsh required the construction of canals starting in Roman times and completed relatively recently.
The afternoon was in the old city of Arezzo - foraging for lunch, exploring the old town and the fortress areas.
At last, a better way to ascend the undulating path to the supermarket in Cortona.
While foraging in the supermarket for a picnic lunch, Dave discovers a special kind of juice box....cost $.80 (cdn)
This is what we look like from a distance....
Over the days we have walked by several solar energy "farms." This one is, however, taking up good farm land.
Lorenzo and Agnes examine the columns in a restored crypt at Farneta Abbey church. Note they all are different - the builders were pragmatic.
In the afternoon we walk back from the Cortona town centre. It is raining lightly giving the valley a lush vista.
6 - 6
Day 2 - Monday
Morning's goal was the Benedictine Abbey of Farneta and the "cleaned up" crypt of the old church.
In the afternoon we were bused to Cortona to see the Cathedral and museums. Dave and I were feeling "museumed out" so we walked down to the main square for a latte and to wait out the rain.