Italy Day Six: Volterra and San Gimignano

After Siena the Tuscan landscape en route to the ancient hilltop town of Volterra.


Two of the best reasons for visiting Volterra can be found in the Pinacoteca e Museo Civico.

Rosso Fiorentino. Deposition 1521

Luca Signorelli, Annunciazione, 1491

Volterra is also renowned as Italy’s capital of alabaster and visiting the Rossi Alabaster gallery and workshop on Piazza della Pescheria it is clear why.


One particular piece caught my eye as it’s beauty seemed to reflect those wonderful faces in the Fiorentino Deposition.


After Volterra it was on to San Gimignano.

The towers of this iconic hilltop town dominate the horizon for miles around.


The surrounding Tuscan landscape shimmering in the evening light.


 Mosaic Variation 12.6.15, matted and framed.  Inspired by the floor mosaics of the Basilica San Marco in Venice

Returning to Venice next week but difficulty with Wifi so here is a taste of the last few days with lots more to follow when we return home. 

maturday and Italy day three

A hillside in Tuscany remembered…31.1.16, matted and framed…

…as we head to the Tuscan hills for a few days. 

Tuscan Reverie

For this inaugural Discover Challenge: Blogging the Senses, Cheri asks us publish a post that piques one of the five senses, hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste, having found inspiration herself in an interview with medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel. Since we are free to “interpret this in any way, and in any format: prose, poetry, photography, audio, video,” and having been also inspired by Erik Kwakkel’s blog myself thanks to Cheri’s introduction, I thought how appropriate this would be to revisit the Abbey of St. Antimo, a former Benedictine Monastry in the commune of Montalcino in Tuscany, which I blogged about over two years ago.

St Antimo

The map is from a journal I kept during our Italian travels in 2000, and the entry for the 21st of April describes our visit to the Abbey that day. As you can read we took the bus from Siena to Montalcino and then walked the 10 kilometres to St. Antimo.


The video is from the photographs I took during that memorable 10 kilometre walk through the magnificent Tuscan countryside. I hope your senses will be piqued as you enjoy the beauty of those Tuscan hills and listen to the Gregorian chant, “Haec Dies” from “Mysterium” a recording made in the Abbey in April 1995 by the five fathers of the Communita die Canonici Regolari di Sant’Antimo.