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France and Italy, 2004


Lucignano is a small walled hilltop town, not far from Arezzo in Tuscany. Unlike many other places we stayed, it seems to be a town in its own right rather than just a tourist trap. Indeed, ordinary shops far outnumbered the ones aimed at tourists.

We stayed in an upmarket B&B built into the town walls. Comfortable and nicely updated considering it was built in about 1300. We had the Duke's room with a red canopied bed and a ducal fireplace with a view from the windows of the local church campanile.

Part of the property was the original town watch tower.

The streetscape was interesting, and we were able to enjoy its peace as there were not crowds of other tourists.


One of churches (there were six or so) has these unusual circular stairs at its entrance.


This is the town hall and tower in Montepulciano

Outside the walls of Cortona is the church of Spirito Santo. Another, almost identical one is the other side of the village.

We also visited the smaller walled hilltop town of Pienza, conceived as a Utopian new town by Pope Pius II in 1459, partly as a revenge on Siena which had exiled his family. He did not manage to build it to be more than a village, and none of his successors took any interest in it. It has changed little since 1500.

The clock tower in Pienza

Flowered windows and door ways abounded


A few kilometres west of Pienza is this disused chapel which has become one of the icons of Tuscany, appearing on countless postcards and calendars. Naturally, Lynn could not resist exposing more film on it.


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This page last modified Sunday, 30 December, 2012 4:10 PM
All photographs copyright © 2004 by Lynn or Nick Booth. No reproduction without written permission.