Sunday, May 7

Our last full day in Beautiful Tuscany.  Time to pack and then off to the town of Orivieto for the afternoon. The city, in the Umbria region, is one of the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost vertical faces of tuff cliffs.  We parked below the old town and took the funicular
to the top and entrance to this amazing medieval town.  The streets were lined with cute little shops, cafes, bakeries, and cobblestones.  Hard to choose which way to turn your head, amazement in every direction.
After a quick stop at a small cafe we headed toward the remarkable Duomo, built in 1920.

The Duomo is one of the most ornate Italian cathedrals inside and out we have ever seen.  The outside face is striped in white travertine and greenish black basalt in narrow bands.  The front of the cathedral is striking and has some remarkable sculptures and ornate detail.  Inside the cathedral was just as amazing with frescoed walls and ceilings.  There are two chapels within the cathedr…

Pienza and Montepulciano

Saturday, May 6

Today we drove to two villages, Pienza and Montepulciano.  Both were amazing and a must see  if you come to Tuscany.

Pienza is a tiny village high a top a hill in southern Tuscany overlooking the beautiful valley cal Val d'orcin.

 It has been said that this city was "born from a thought of love and from a dream of beauty" (Giovanni Pascoli) according to the will of Pope Pius II.  The village is located about 20 kilometers east of Montalcino and a few kilometers west of Montelpulciano amidst gentle undulating hills and wonderful natural landscapes.  It's a superb example of Renaissance architecture with all main monuments located in the town center, Piazza Pio II.  The cathedral is the tallest building on the square and is beautiful inside and out.  For 2 Euros you can go beneath the cathedral to the crypt and view archeological findings
as well as images and diagrams of the rebuilding of the cathedral foundation. On either side of the cathedral are o…