Tuscany: Day 7 – Friday, May 12

Today’s Shooting Agenda

  • Dawn views of Val d’Orcia
  • Lucignano d’Asso
  • San Quirico d’Orcia

Sleeping In… Just A Bit

There was an optional 5:15 dawn photo shoot of the Val d’Orcia this morning, but I opted to sleep in a bit so I skipped this one.

At 7:45 we met for what would be our last breakfast at the hotel. Finishing up, we then loaded into the van about 9:30 and made a trip to the local Coop (supermarket) for any items our group needed.

While I was waiting at the van for the rest of our group to congregate I took a few snaps of the rear of the hotel, where the pool was being prepped for opening:

Lucignano d’Asso

After leaving the Coop we travelled to the village of Lucignano d’Asso, which is in the comune (an Italian township or municipality) of Montalcino, about 16 km from the town of Montalcino.

Outside the village we stopped to photograph the little chapel, affectionately known to Light & Land folks as Charlie’s Chapel:

Venturing in to Lucignano d’Asso we found a completely charming village with gently decaying buildings and sleeping cats… very old world Italian.

We came across this interesting building (below) which has remnants of the Mussolini era. In the upper right corner there is a mural which reads: La scienza la volonta, la fede, possono attenuare gli effetti delle forze non benefiche della natura. Mussolini. (“Science, will, faith, can attenuate the effects of the non-beneficial forces of nature. Mussolini”). Basically, this is a statement of faith; it implies that with science, faith, and the will to do so, we will conquer nature. It’s hard to see in my shot, but Mussolini’s name has been eradicated by the Italian people so all that is left is “Muss” in the lower right corner of the mural:

The view from the village walls:

While wandering around Lucignano d’Asso we stopped and had espressos, coffees and tea on the patio of Da Rita e Eraldo café. A wonderful spot!:

After getting suitably caffeinated we wandered the village a little more then met back at the van at about 12:45 for the journey back to the hotel.

A Sudden Tempest

On our return we encountered a violent rainstorm that the wipers could barely keep off, even at high speed. The sky became dark and the rain turned to hail and began pelting down. This deluge, which seemed to come out of nowhere, literally washed out our shooting plans for the rest of the afternoon, so we all agreed it would be best to return to the hotel to rest, pack our luggage for tomorrow’s departure, check in to our homeward-bound flights, settle up any outstanding amount on the hotel bill, and generally get ready to leave our temporary Tuscany home very early tomorrow morning.

Upon return to the hotel we became temporary hostages in the van as the rain was pelting down so hard we couldn’t leave. Finally the rain eased up and we were able to return to our rooms.

San Quirico d’Orcia

At 6:00PM we met at the hotel’s Reception and took a walk into San Quirico d’Oricia for a general photo walkabout, and a last group meal in Tuscany. San Quirico d’Orcia was yet another Tuscan village I fell in love with:

While on our photowalk of the village, Carmel and I ventured into an open, but deserted, church called La Collegiata Di San Quirico d’Orcia, which dates from the 12th century:

We were taking pictures when two nuns quietly entered and started preparing the church for closing. The women were extremely friendly and absolutely charming, and they invited us to tour the Quire and Christening Room, where visitors don’t usually gain access:

Having locked up the church, the nuns wished us well and strode off into the evening light:

Carmel and I then walked back to the central square to meet the rest of our group. We sat in the outdoor cafes there and had a relaxing time before getting a few more shots of the area:

There was a beautiful sunset after the rain. In the shot above you can just barely see the rainbow stretching between the two buildings.

At this point my camera battery died and I wasn’t carrying any replacements (which is unusual for me), so the rest of these shots come from my older iPhone, which is not great for photos, but always makes do in a pinch:

Evening Meal

Just prior to 8:00PM we left the square and proceeded to Ristorante di Ciacco for our last Tuscan meal of the trip. Utterly delicious, and a fitting close to the wonderful week that had been.

We returned to the hotel at about 10:45 and were off to bed. It will be a big day tomorrow!

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