La Strada

Nissan Micra, rented for a day, stayed with us for almost a week. Every evening we thought that we would have time to return the car to the office before closing and then we already foresee a real holiday – baths with mineral water, massages, daily sleeps, walks in boutiques in front of dinner and evening promenade. Florence finally, in which there were already more than once and in which you can spend so much time as you have, and there will still be little. Just let’s see another place – and everything, rest. Florence had to postpone until the next arrival, sleep – leave to the house. As for the boutiques, I do not believe myself, but I was not in one: I did not want. Tuscany itself turned out to be such a luxurious acquisition that additional gifts did not simply be required.

Paradise remained behind. There, in a cave with low arches, entrusted with impressive stalactites and stalagmites, was warm and wet. Left left Purgatory: Several steps down to round, boiling bubbles Lake. Past of like shadows sailed in a couple of people with hooded hoods. We followed them. "Hell" – Personal pointer. We were just there. In the underground grotto, divided into three Danov parts, as the temperature increases to 36 degrees and humidity, almost up to 100 percent begins the day of almost all the inhabitants of the Tuscan Spa Grotta Giusti. Since in the middle of the last century, local peasants discovered caves and found out about their healing properties, people from all over the world come here. Hell equalizes: here the Garibaldi and Prince of Naples were once resting at the same time, and, although today in this luxurious atmosphere, it is difficult to imagine carbonaries, everyone here looks the same – in white robes and dark darous bathrobes that give resting similarities with pilgrims. Guests of the villa of the middle of the XIX century exclusively secured people, because the week of procedures that purify the body is worth a couple of thousand dollars. Thermal water for which they specifically buy tickets to the terms of the neighboring montecatini, here it simply flows from the crane. Steam, massages, wraps, dirt and inhalation – everything was created so that guests return to their earthly worries updated and rarely. Such was our program for several days – Grotto, massage, pool. Pool? Why, in essence, a pool person, if an right ride from him! This thought immediately drove the relaxation and dormant, the body after the procedures. The plan was ready: go swimming, dine by the sea, then wrap in Pisa to see the tower.

On a wide elegant Viareggio embankment, separated from the beach near cafes, shops and restaurants, almost no one. At the end, in the small market, the pier, fishermen traded directly from the boats of sardines, mussels, octopus and mollusks. Season the coast is strictly divided by local hotels on merry rectangles. Pay for the entrance and use a sun bed, an umbrella, a boiler for dressing, shower and other beach amenities. Now umbrellas were removed, and yellow smooth sand opened. The last most persistent fans of the tan sat at the water when two appeared on the beach – and my husband. Quickly undressed and rushed into the waves. We got sick with a hot road, which is moving forward, to the horizon, which all the time is moved, and do not know what will open as follows: Sea or mountains, covered with a snowy hat marble, castle, or fortress, city or farm, winery or rural tratatorium. Especially since here, in Tuscany, everything is incredibly close. With our habit to big distances it is impossible to believe that from Pisa to Florence about the same amount as from home to work, and even pointers on the highway, reminiscent of the table of contents of the art history – Lucca, Carrara, Genoa, Livorno, are tempting to deviate aside from the planned route.

We were waiting for Pisa, and in Pisa – a friend, professor of mathematics. "You are lucky, – he began. – Actually, Pisa is the most rainy city of Italy". He approved our Nissan: "We, Italians, are obsessed with beautiful cars. But let’s go on foot. Do not leave anything in the cabin: Stolen". He slapped the door of his shabby Citroen so that the noble marble flinched. "Daniele! Keys!" He left them in the door of the car. "Let be hijacked. Worse if I lose them myself". "Daniele! Window!" – We rushed back. "Better so than glass will disach", – explained Professor. Daniele always leaves the keys in an open car – even in Florence, where the thieves are almost as much as tourists, nobody does not attend it: Italians love beautiful new cars. On the way, he gave us short explanations. Galilee was born in this house, here Bayron wrote "Don Juan", Pucchini lived there, this facade painted vazari. Checking with the revived pages of the Album on the art of Renaissance (section of the PRASTERESANCE), we lazily circled your head. Not yet disrupted. To the legs fell a tower. Yellow, like a faded bone from time, all in the patterns of columns and arches, she lashed on the edge of a green lawn, neatly tired of unusually beautiful buildings, as if built by a giant, who decided to play the marble constructor in the evening. Piazza Dei Miracoli – Wonderland Square. The tower began to fall during construction, and now for eight centuries it is supported in a more or less vertical position. Recently, some new way to strengthen the walls and, they say, will soon be discovering again to the public. We have chosen for inspection of four other museums on the area where it was smaller to the people. And did not regret. Even Daniele found something new. More precisely, lost – the statue of the famous Mathematics Fibonacci. Sculpture Some time ago disappeared from the city park, and Daniele was unsuccessful looking for her, even called the mayor – after all, all mathematicians, coming to Pisa, certainly demanded to see their predecessor who introduced Europe with Arabic figures. It turned out, Fibonacci someone quietly rearranged in Kamposanto, and while we were treated in an enthusiastic horror "Triumph of death", Daniele enjoyed the cigar and the newly acquired ancient colleague. Which, by the way, is sometimes called Leonardo from Pisa.

Leonardo da Vinci means Leonardo from Vinci. And this most Vinci was under our side. Portier said that you just need to go beyond the hotel’s gate, turn on the first traffic light left, where to go from "Pathsa Strada" to the pointer on Vinci. Before returning, I saked it "Pieza" – beautiful how. At home, through a dictionary, it turned out that "PAESE" In fact, just "village" and writes, unlike "poetry", across "a". However, the relationship of these two words in Italy no doubt causes. Vinci village on a hill – two streets, a castle, a small square with a house, fully seized by wild grapes, a couple of cafes and three or four trats. Castle – Leonardo Museum, where wonderful mechanisms, invented by them and completed later, bike, helicopter, submarine. Although, judging by the exhibition, it mainly designed presses for olives and grapes. Leonardo was self-taught and besides left. It seemed more convenient to write on the contrary: the manuscript could be read normally only through the reflection in the mirror. This great thoughtman brought little to the end – not only paintings, statues, business, books, but even separate phrases. He was boring to finish the proposal, and he often put a dummy, outdated and only once, feeling the need to give an explanation to the cliff of thought, wrote: "I’ll finish later – the pussy is still". Michelangelo, born, too, nearby, in Tuscany, wrote that his mind was developed due to beautiful landscapes and fresh alpine air, which he breathed in childhood. Well – this is the only possible explanation.

Geniyev has become less: the air is not so fresh. We even met a silus Italian industrial zone, something like our con. With the difference only, in the center of her, as in the pile of garbage, it contained a pearl – the beautiful Palace of Piezho-A-Kaiyano, built and decorated under the leadership of Lorenzo magnificent. "Bianca", – Move me a minister of the museum by the hand to the portrait of an extraordinary beauty with beautiful asholes, blue eyes and a subtle evil mouth. Young noble Venetian Bianca Capella fled from home with poor Florentine. Love quickly passed: chosen was too poor, and poverty does not contribute to family life. So would bianca and a poverty struck, remembering his native Palazzo with bitterness if she had not noticed by chance on the street Tuscan Duke Francesco. He fell in love with Bianch at first glance and asked his chamber engine to get acquainted with her family. The plan has succeeded. After a while, the girl was brought to the palace, where the duke opened the doors of cabinets and largers with jewels, which offered in exchange for love. Bianca did not stand out. It was a woman of frantic passions – whether the cause of love or power concerned. For the sake of them she was ready to kill. In the end, Bianca became the legitimate wife of the Tuscan Duke, and the only thing that spoiled her life is mindlessness. All wealth should have moved over time to the hated brother of the Duke Ferdinanda. After several unsuccessful attempts, Bianca invited the son-in-law in Pozho-a-Kaiyano on the hunt and personally prepared as a sign of respect for him Cakes. Ferdinand has long refused to try them, and the duke who did not know the criminal plan of his wife, taking a cake with a laugh, asked if the guest of the poison was not afraid. Bianca didn’t flick one too. Even before the end, dinner both died in terrible flour. On the other day, the Florence of the rules already a new duke, and the name of Bianca was erased from all the coat of arms and cursed.

In the gate of the pienza smell the cheese. A sharp, spicy smell seems to be in a yellow brick of buildings – in every house there is a lauree selling a dozen species of local goat cheeses – with multicolored peppers, olives, basil, although the most famous one is even sweet pecorino. Would remain pienza always a pretty cheese village named Corsignano, if in 1405, Enaa Silvio Piccolomini was born here – the poet, a diplomat, Pope II, in honor of which the city was renamed. Judging by the portraits, Dad was really deeply respected man: In those days, it was believed that the mind was reflected in the length of the nose, and several "embellished" reality, so on some portraits in Piya II nose solely by fifth. Once, walking with a retinue native village, he decided to turn her into "Perfect city", The utopian idea of ​​which was then owned by the minds of writers and artists. The square should be the square on which they would not be opposed, but neighboring church and civil authorities. The palace of Dad wanted to see the Domus Vitrea – a house of glass, the immelled light of an ancient mind: he was a humanist. In construction participated in the whole world, but the case ended only by one area. Dad died, soon the architect died soon, and the failed perfect city was covered again with provincial noodles. However, it was possible that this allowed Pienza almost to our days to preserve in immunity not only narrow streets and ancient buildings, but also the traditional way of life. In the Palace of Piccolomini – the building of amazing simplicity and beauty – still half a century ago there lived the last representative of this family, who granted two dads, several scientists, writers and marshals. Probably, he was cold, empty and uncomfortable in spacious rooms hovering with portraits of famous ancestors, but it regularly drove fireplaces, covered the table in the front dining room, washed dust from a huge collection of weapons, took the ancient wooden juicer in the morning to make a glass of orange juice. He considered his duty to leave the city a live museum of ancestors. We did not regret for a minute that they wrapped here. The perfect city is enough two hours to explore it entirely (including a cup of coffee in the square) and love.

San Gimignano played with us into the game, then appearing before his eyes, squeezing with all his towers, then disappearing when the road was enveloped by the mountain, until he rose suddenly before his eyes all the whole, directed to the sky. Each noble family in San Gimignano considered her duty to build his tower. Two of them connecting two squares at the highest point of the city are still called "Salvucci" and "Ardinelli" – In honor of local montects and cabins. Similar towers once adorned and Siena with Florence – historians even talked about "Towered madness", But wars forced the architecture to form. In San Gimignano, the authorities in the XVII century issued a special decree, commanding to everyone who allowed the destruction of the towers, restore them in the original form of Per La Grandezza della Terra, that is "For the sake of the magnitude of the land". However, there is another version of so careful architecture conservation. San Gimignano was famous for his colored fabrics, and especially the secret of a saffron dye. The price of the fabric in those times was determined by the length of the panel, but it was not necessary to dry the material, so artisans saw it in the towers, even by putting the stairs to outside, so as not to lose a centimeter of the useful space. Now there is a wine cellar in every house where the local Vernacci is sold for perfect pennies, something like two euros for a bottle.

La Strada

From San Gimignano to Volterra on the map 29 km. Do not take there? Impossible! The fortress of ancient Etruscans can not be missed, if you are so close, and moreover by car. Estimated half an hour turned into two more. Ahead of the pair of trucks, which, on a narrow with steep drives, decided to overtake only three old-fashioned cabriolets. They swept past us in turn: Vzhik – Blue, Vzhik – White, Vzhik – Red. In each man in black glasses. And again a leisurely ride on the spirals around the hills, neither you benzokolonok, no villages, nor just fork. On the farm, finally met on the way, we decided to clarify whether we were going. The old woman liefly listened to our poorly clear Italian, then interrupted: "Where are you from? How to get here?" Having learned that we tourists immediately showed a business grip: on a farm (by the way, the XII century) you can rent a room and at the same time learning how to cook in Italian. She gives lessons. Signora wants to know how to do a real paste? Now the house is free – not the season. Yes, and prices fell. I felt a pity that we already live somewhere, and I had to disappoint a granny. Then the explanations followed: they say, everything is right, we must continue to go straight and directly, without turning. Strong, of course, it is said: "directly" – about these endless turns! The day began to go out, and the sun seemed to have ever had the melting, suddenly, began to golden all around when the road made another loop, climbing higher and higher. As if someone lied and blocked all the candles-cypresses. There were half-lit silver olives and vineyards to the horizon around. Brown Earth of this shade, as if she was watered by Chianti. So it is essentially. The last bright hour that day gave us a view of the distant-distant sea. We still managed to at Volterra to the sunset, in order to look into the distance, quickly immersed in the haze with the walls with huge boulders. Buses with tourists traveled from the fortress walls. We threw the car in the underground parking, hoping to catch the museum where the Etruscan funeral urns and famous vases with the painting were kept, who used this ancient mysterious people, which did not know where to. However, not so long ago, scientists decided to reverse the old bones. 150 inhabitants of a small secluded town of Murlo underwent a genetic examination, and their DNA was almost the same as the ancient inhabitants of Tuscany. In general, Etruscan still live. At least in Murlo. All museums have already been closed. It remained only to walk through the streets, go to the cathedral. In young people, which was crowded near the disco, there was nothing from the ancient Etruscans, nor from their conquerors of Romans, nor from the Renaissance Characters. We considered them well – I had to go past five times. Because we got lost – lost our parking. All the streets led to the walls that the mountain breakdown was. Volterra was well protected from attack. It remained to accept the fact that we were late in a rolled office. So we had another day.

And the day was beautiful. We gave it to the very center of Tuscany, walking right under the inscription "More than gate. Siena opens your heart". And not to get lost, started from the main square – Campo. Paving pavement bridge is divided by nine sectors in memory of the Council of Nine, who wisely ruled the city during the republic. The city council is still located here in Palazzo Publico, divided between the authorities and the museum. Previously, the meeting was held in the so-called hall of the globe, but someone’s globe. Seen, moral fresco "Allegory for a good and bad government" Consider only visitors to the museum haul. The shape of Campo resembles a cloak of the Virgin Mary – the patroness of Siena, on her altar, the townspeople in the days of the troubles and the victims pinned the keys to the city, and this, imagine, sometimes helped. However, the amazing beauty of the Siena Cathedral may not even touch the saint. And the main wealth is under your feet – extraordinary marble mosaics on biblical plots. Throughout the year, only one of the plates remains open, and only on the days of the Palio floor can be seen entirely. Palio is a noisy carnival, sports contest, when a few days modernity is inferior to the past, and for this it is worth the whole year to prepare – sew costumes, train, learn hymns and invent the scenario of their exit. However, the roles are painted five centuries ago. The city is divided for ten "Contain", which participate in street jumps on horseback without saddles – jumps, in which there are no rules: the jockeys are bribed and replaced horses, friends turn out "enemies", As in the old days of internecine wars, enter each other in the fight. Everything ends, naturally, a grand outdoor beer, where the winners are honored. And trophies go to the museum (it is from each of "Contain") – In the story fits another year.

About true pleasures and well-being

Last days we spent in the charming dilapidated luxury Grand Hotel in Chiangly. Examination of old-fashioned rooms, furniture of the 50s with painting, sweat mirrors, fragile carpets, a special reaction courtship of waiters, funny-swaying overheads. From all this can be forgotten luxury from old black and white films. No wonder the hotel comes in Fellinievsky "8 1/2" – Maestro loved Grand Hotels. Kyanchano – the resort is modern, built after the war. There is nothing to look here, they drink water here. The only museum – "water", Open archaeological excavations of the Roman term and the Etruscan Temple, built in honor of the deity of the doctrine of water. At different depths in the depths of the earth, there are: Acqua Santa, saturated with bicarbonate, sulfate and calcium (it cleans the body, treats the liver and prevents osteoporosis), Acqua Fucoli, which is good for kidney, and Acqua Sillene, useful in arthrites. However, citizens of the Movement and more than also do not miss the procedures: Multicolored dirt and other natural cosmetics, based on thermal water, are wonderfully clean and tighten the skin, getting rid of wrinkles and cellulite. In the evening, the city becomes brilliant: boutiques, restaurants, cafe – everything is full, everywhere drink and eat. They say when the Italians ask how the vacation was held, they respond: "Good root" – And everyone immediately understand that the rest succeeds, well, if the trip was not delivered, then the first thing mention was mentioned. Well, the kitchen is art with a deliberate time. "About true pleasures and well-being" – So called the book, published in the Vatican in the XVI century. And this book was cooking. Antipasto, Il Primo, Il Secondo, Insalata Verde, Formaggio, Dolce, Frutta, Espresso – Full Mandatory List of Extensive Italian Lunch I can’t try not possible. Metrotel in the Grand Hotel referred to me for this with some pity and for his reena brought at the end of each meal "Saint" SANTO’s sweet wine, which is put on to make dry biscuits. In short, we sing very well. What, returning home, and wrote a familiar Venetian who has long lived in Paris. Its name is Francesco, and his girl, beautiful Italian, – Paola. Such a petrarba on the contrary. In a letter, choking with delight, among other things, painting the villages and mountain roads Tuscany were mentioned. What was our surprise when, instead of an answer, in which satisfied pride in his homeland, an angry reward was followed by. They say, about painting, you can talk, traveling on Provence, but in the appendix to Italy, this word can be considered even an insult. After all, we are talking about the cradle of the whole Western culture.

To Florence or Pisa, you can fly by airlines Alitalia, Air France, Lufthansa and DR. With a change in Europe ($ 1200-1600). "Aeroflot" It flies in Rome (about $ 600), from where you can get to Tuscany by train (the fastest and comfortable EUROSTAR Express gets to Florence 2 hours). For car rental, the driver’s license will be needed with experience more than a year and credit card. The most convenient rental points are located in airports: they work around the clock, without days off, they are easy to find. It is best to order a car in advance from Moscow over the Internet or telephone (you can find a low tariff at Thrifty, Avis or Budget – about $ 180 per week plus taxes, additional insurance and loan for gasoline), otherwise at the right time and in the right place of the appropriate class cars can not be available. More expensive Hertz (with all the cheating it turns out about $ 80-100 per day) is available almost always, and, if necessary, the receptionist will help make an order from the hotel. Grotta Giusti is near Montecatini Terme. There can be reached by car (motorway Florence – Sea), by taxi or train – Montecatini station, and from the station again by taxi. Nearby Pisa, Coastal Resorts, Lucca, Pistoia, Prato, Vinci, Pozho-A-Kaiyano. Several further San Gimignano and Volterra. Weekly stay at Grotta Giusti with a full board and a health spa, which will be a qualified doctor, costs from 1100 to 2,200 euros, depending on the season and program. SPA ticket for day (including shopping of grotto, healing baths, several types of massage, peeling and body wrapping, face care with cosmetics on thermal waters) will cost about 200 euros. Kyanchano Terme can be reached by car on the Rome Florence motorway or by train station to Kuzi, and from there by bus or taxi. From Chiangly close to Piece and Montepulciano, near Siena, Arezzo and Perugia. One-day ticket to Acqua Santa or Fucoli park costs 3.5-7.75 euros depending on the season of water. In the spa center one cosmetic procedure based on mud and thermal water costs from 20 to 80 euros. A complex that includes one of the face masks, some of the massages and a bath, wrapping or peeling for the body, occupies one and a half or two hours and costs 100-150 euros. Most holidaymakers acquire a package of procedures (for relaxation, beauty or recovery) together with a full guest house (depending on the class of the hotel and season) at 500-1000 euros.

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