France and Italy 2004

Lucignano, 16-18 June

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.
  This map shows our travels from Lucignano. Click it for a larger version.
  We stayed in an upmarket B&B built into the town walls. Comfortable and nicely updated considering it was built in about 1300
  Part of the property was the original town watch tower.
  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.
  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) had these unusual circular stairs at its entrance.
  Outside the walls of Cortona is the church of Spirito Santo. Another, almost identical one is the other side of the village.
  Doorway in Cortona.
  The town hall and tower in Montepulciano.
  The church of San Biagio, just outside Montepulciano.
  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 doorways abounded.
  A few kilometres west of Pienza is this disused chapel, Capella di Vitateta, 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.
  And finally, some interesting street lights.

From Lucignano, it was only a short journey to Lucca.


Copyright © 2004 by Lynn or Nick Booth. Please contact us if you wish to use a photo.