Welcome back, it is now Tuesday evening, 5 July, two full days to remember, images to select, and then I will repack for Rome and Sardinia. I got my train ticket for Rome tomorrow, and Mari just checked the schedule and I will leave at 8 AM to arrive in Rome at about 10:30.
Yesterday, the 4th, David, Mari, and I headed to the square for cappucino, and then walked around some prior to lunch. Afterwards Alex took us to the museum, and I am so pleased (since I am a museum aficionado) at his excitement with the exhibits. The museum itself is a museum having been founded in 1727, and I wish I knew the date of the building it is in, but it is 13th century or earlier I would say. We then headed off to the park that Alex enjoys, and I took him for a spin on the merry-go-round.
As we have walked around the narrow streets I have been fascinated with architectural details, and wish I had become an architectural historian. I remember years ago being fasincated by the restoration of a 12th century English half-timber somewhere in England, and I enjoyed two years ago a “new” 18th century architecture exhibit at Strawbery Banke Plantation in Portsmout. But, back to Cortona.
Mari’s brother, who took over her Dad’s medical practice, joins us for lunch and dinner along with his girlfriend when possible. The large meal is at 12:30 with a first course of pasta, followed by a substantial (and wonderful) meat course. Businesses close from Noon to 3 PM, and then resume until 7 PM. We all gather then for dinner at 8:30. Now, her brother knowing it was our Independence Day on the 4th showed up with a massive display of fireworks (which we heard today were the talk all around town), and as of this moment he and Alex are shooting off loud firecrackers.
Prior to lunch today, David and Mari took me to two local attractions. First we drove to to The Celle Hermitage which Saint Francis began in 1211 and it is believed to be the place where, in May 1226, four months before his death he dictated his Will. What a peaceful and special place, and so well restored and preserved (Cathy would have loved it). Then we went to the Fortress of Girifalco at the top of the hill built in 1556. It is connected to the walls of the city, and the views are exceptional of the town, valley, and Lake Trasimeno were Hannibal ambushed the Roman army in 217 BC killing over 15,000 soldiers.
We returned for lunch, and afterwards headed to Siena.
Siena is a large city in Tuscany that attracts many tourists. Many parking areas circle the city, and then it is quite a climb to reach the center, and in some places there are a series of escalators.
HOURS LATER, and after another walk to town with David — I have been working with images, forgot how to do a slideshow, researched and remembered, and as a result am running short of time to pack and sleep and leave for the train in about 7 hours. So, bare with me, we have been so pleasantly busy that I just not have been able to write all that I want. I am going to post this as incomplete, BUT plan to edit it tomorrow night and add the images I have worked with. I will also spend time to show you my first day in Rome. Thank you for your understanding, RAY
Finally getting the slideshow working on July 8th !!!