Under the Tuscan sun

You have to forgive the Italians for their lack of humility for so many of their superlatives are true. The finest architecture, the grandest churches, the best cuisine, the most stylish people, and the best ice cream. Even ‘the best in the world’. At this time of year crowds are less dense. St Guigminiano is said to be the best preserved Italian medieval village. A walled town of 15 turrets. The model of what all Italian cities used to be. Atbthis time of year crowds are less dense and there are few children. But Americans of a certain age in droves. I imagine many of them are in search of the same experiences as Frances Mayes of ‘Under a Tuscan sun’ fame. It must be the ‘Peter Mayle effect’ in Provence. And then, having publicised this idyllic lifestyle he left. I think I am sensitive to their loud voices because of my own experiences as a student 40 years ago in France. Americans were everywhere, and my friends and I were constantly asked ‘Are you American?’ or even ‘Do you speak american?’. I always like to visit churches and of course there are many. But most deconsecrated now (no light on the sanctuary) so you have to pay. A sign of the times. Some have become museums, others ‘vinatecii’. The walls are left to fade. Fewer people understand the history. It’s ironic that many of the frescoes show Christ amongst the people, and in the marketplace. He’s still there.


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