We visited today the warm and sunny and hilly slopes of Tuscan wine country. The keyboard on this computer today is a nightmare, so I have to be brief.
We loved our drive south and west through the landscape, with fields of grain and vineyards and olive trees. Dotted, as always, with Cypress trees as thin as nature permits.
I must admit that we had not heard of Pienza until a Danish man observed it was his favorite place in Tuscany. It is a virtual Renaissance city, atop a Tuscan hill, and Pope Pius 2 converted his already-existing home town into a Renaissance village. He built a wonderful cathedral and palaces all over the place … and gave to each a Renaissance architectural feel. We had a coffee at the back end and looked over Tuscan hills. Lovely … surrounded by Germans. They are everywhere.

In Montalcino we found our way to a ramshackle old Franciscan church. On our way back we happened upon a middle school. Lo and behold! the kids were singing Amazing Grace in English. Kris gave a hearty clap when they were done, but they were on the 3d floor of the “scuoale” and probably didn’t hear us.
Tomorrow we will make our way north — to Lago Maggiore to Stresa.
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