Thursday, August 31, 2017


Umbria in Italy is filled with small mountains towns of inestimable charm and long history. 
And winding mountain roads too. This building carries a plaque indicating Our Lady appeared miraculously to a local kid encouraging him to be a good lad. Miracles happen apparently in the most unlikely spots.
But Montefalco ("falcon mountain") is a very likely spot. Of all the medieval towns in Umbria it is among my favorites alongside Orvieto and Narni and Gubbio, perhaps better known towns but this place I keep coming back to for reasons I shall explain. 
It is properly walled and you aren't allowed to drive in.
The sign tells you to stay out unless authorized or an emergency vehicle. We were neither, so we parked and walked up the hill, as you do.
 I caught a glimpse of a rather lovely late model Moto Guzzi 350 set up to ride. Nice bike and it set my nostalgia jangling.
The architecture is splendid of course as you would expect.
Sagrantino is the wine for which this town is famous and it is a red worth tasting. They are proud of it as they should be. It is in a sense Umbria's native wine like Chianti is to Tuscany. I am painting with a broad brush but one does in moments of enthusiasm. 
They have a rather fine museum too which incorporates a chapel. As I grow older I appreciate more the two dimensional art of medieval Italy.
 We wandered through, left to our own devices able to enjoy what we came across at our own pace.
 It was relaxing.
Because these were the middle ages and the papal states artists were rather obliged to paint allegorically and create Biblical scenes to portray human bodies and so forth. You couldn't just paint a nude in those days without facing dire consequences.
 Giovanni revels in his heritage.
 His wife Rossana is a walking guidebook.
 My wife is a wandering Jew and is thus less impressed by overwhelmingly Christian art.
I look at these faces and wonder what the model was thinking and where she went after the portrait session was over. And in this case how far did they travel to find a blonde in predominantly brunette Umbria?
 Real people...

 Grumpy old friar isn't he? Must have sucked a lemon.
Ooh and there's the devil, subject matter of nightmares always ready to tempt you away to perdition...

This face reminded me of a buddy of mine in Key West but Curtis is about my age so I doubt it was him.

 I look rather more austere than I felt. I probably needed a slug of Sagrantino.
 But instead we had Coke Zero in the main square as it was hot and we were thirsty.
The appetizers did not meet with universal approval. 

 That's why I like Montefalco.


Trobairitz said...

I love that no motorized vehicles are allowed. It must be peaceful because of that, as well as beautiful.

Conchscooter said...

Well it is. and beautiful. Better than downtown Daytona Beach I'll tell you.

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