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Bagno Vignoni – Ancient Tuscan Thermal Baths

“The waving vapors on the surface of the dark water, bubbling here and there, made that complex of houses with simple charm a strange universe out of time, luminous and vaporous, in which bathers of all centuries, Roman togas or Renaissance dresses could have found themselves…” (from the book “Toscanes” by Pierre-Jean Rémy). One of …

Piazza del campo durante il palio

Piazza del Campo

The first warm sun of spring, but it’s still cold in the shade. I sit down on the warm bricks, lean back with my hands, and stretch my legs. I can’t eat the ciaccino yet, it’s too hot. The swallows fly all around while the pigeons approach you to pick up some crumbs. The light …

torre del porcellino Volterra Pisa

Mouse or Pig?

I’ll give you some clues: Piazza dei Priori, Volterra. It seems that this tower belonged to the Topi family. Then you will say: “it’s a mouse!” Wait… But then, the Municipality bought the tower in the 13th century to house the Podestà and also the prisons that remained here until the 19th century. On the …

Siena Via fosso di sant'ansano con facciata santa maria della scala

Fosso di S. Ansano street

Siena, Piazza della Postierla, better known as “Quattro Cantoni”. Its name derives from latin “posterula”, little gate. This led to a ditch along a precipice where were the ancient walls of Siena with its charcoal pits. The medieval Hospital of Saint Mary of the Ladder buys this space from Municipality ‘cause it needs to expand. However, the expansion …

pieve di Ponte allo Spino sullo sfondo, in primo piano fiat 500 d'epoca

The parish church of Ponte allo Spino

In the plain below Sovicille, there is the oldest church (perhaps) of the Sienese diocese. Everyone calls it Ponte allo Spino because of the stream of the same name but, in reality, it is the parish church of S. John the Baptist. Like all churches, it stood on important communication routes: the Roman road that …