Art, Architecture and History Tour of Tuscany and Umbria

Art, Architecture and History Tour of Tuscany and Umbria

13 Oct 2018 - 15:48 BY Simon La Frenais

Art, Architecture and History Tour of Tuscany and Umbria

13 Oct 2018 - 12:35 BY Simon La Frenais

23 members of The Art Society Tarporley task force are safely back in Blighty after seeing action for 6 days in Tuscany and Umbria under the command of Chairman Freda Markham.

On the first day we had free time for lunch and sightseeing in the lovely walled city of Lucca. The following day we visited the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore to see the beautiful frescoes of Sodoma and Signorelli. Afterwards we were lucky to see the amazing flag throwing fiesta in Pienza followed by a visit to see the Church of Madonna Di San Biagio at Montepulciano.

Day three was a visit to Siena where a guided tour took in the sights of the city including the magnificent Gothic Duomo with its beautiful mosaic floor and the wonderful frescoes of The Piccolomini Library. In the afternoon we visted the Palazzo Publico which houses the interesting Museo Civico.

The following day we were stunned by the well preserved streets of the Middle Ages under the old city of Perugia which had been built on top of them by Pope Pious III in 1540 after the Perugians had refused to pay his salt tax. In the afternoon we visited the beautiful medieval town of Assisi with its' warm pink granite buildings and the Papal Basilica of St Francis.

Over the last two days we visited Cortona and Orvieto. Cortona, strategically situated on the side of a hill, has many steep streets but at least the main shopping street was on the level! After a visit to see the lovely fresco of the Annunciation by Beatro Angelico we were free to explore the town and enjoy a leisurely lunch and the local wine.

Orvieto is a gem and rises dramatically from vertical cliffs of tuff. A funicular takes you up to the old town where the views from the walls are breathtaking. The Piazza del Duomo is dominated by the magnificent exterior of the Cathedral and the intricately carved facade. Inside we viewed the famous frescoes of The Last Judgement by Luca Signorelli.

We then celebrated our succesful mission with a delicious al fresco lunch and plentiful libation at the Umbrian Agriturismo, Il Colombaio. Overall a very enjoyable and informative venture with a cohesive and friendly group who all looked after one another with great humour under the watchful eye of tour manager Sue. Many thanks to all and especially to Freda for her meticulous planning and infectious enthusiasm throughout.

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