Marcus Travel Journal
Borgo dei Sette Tigli
We will be staying in the Val di Chiazna at the Borgo dei Sette Tigli. The property was discoverered in 2002, after a long period of abandonmenht. Renovated it now is a series of houses and an outdoor swimming pool that overlooks the vineyards. It is next to what is referred to the village, the seven lime trees planted at the end of renovation.
Nearby is Pienza, referred to as the ideal city, built by Pope Pius II. This town is a regular stop for us when we are in Tuscany. I can taste the lunch already!
We are well position to drive through the Unesco designated heritage area, the Val d'Orcia which has stunning landscape views. The drive along the SP146 between Pienza and San Quirico is the most famous of the "big sights" routes. The SP53 between San Quirico and Chianciano is another road across the rolling hills. I will be looking for the peculiar Quercias della Checche (a oak tree on the side of the road).
Chapel of Viteleta
I will be sure to drive the road between San Quirico and Pienza to again visit and photograph the Chapel of Vitaleta (1884-85). When I was there in 2017 I found the back road and then it is just a short walk to the chapel.
Described as Tuscanny's overlooked gem. I agree. Because it has been overlooked in terms of tourist traffic, it retains its physical and cultural history. I remember in 2017 entering through the Porta Sant'Agata with stunning vieews of the valley to Pienza. Pass through the gates and you will find a medieval village that is packed with pots of flowers, and a good share of laundry also! I am coming back!
Bosco di Cipressi
An iconic location in the Val d'Orcia. The cypresses of San Quirico d'Orcia are located on a hill that dominates from the south a stretch of the Via Cassia that crosses the northern part of the municipal territory of San Quirico d'Orcia, in the locality "I Triboli". I plan to take a drive down the via Cassia between San Quirico d'Orcia and Torrenieri to get my own version of this sight. hese are two distinct groups of trees, located in an isolated way on rounded hilly reliefs of modest height and devoid of other types of tall vegetation. The first group of cypresses form a small and thick grove of rhomboid shape located at the geographical coordinates 43°03′45.62"N 11°33′31.86"E, while the second group of cypresses is located along a white road that leads to a farm complex, around which they are arranged forming two distinct semicircles open towards the center of the dirt road at the geographical coordinates 43°03′38.99"N 11°33′30.49"E.
Hercule et Cacus by Bandinelli, stands in the Piazza Signoria.
Hercules conquering Cacus
Pope Clement (VII) ordered Baccio Bandinelli to use a block of marble originally quarried for Michelangelo to create a statue to stand beside David outside the Plazzo Vecchia. He wanted Bandinelli to produce a sculpture that symbolized the Medici vanquishing its enemies. (Medici was returning to Florence after being exiled by Savonarola.) Work started but was interrupted when again the Medicis were expelled from Florence in 1527. the marble was given back to Michelangelo, but he never had time to do anything with it. the Medicis returned, Baninelli regained the marble and completed his work in 1534.