YOU MAY REMEMBER a book published nearly 15 years ago called Under the Tuscan Sun that was hitting bestseller's lists all over the country. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that Kerri and I are reading it together right now. [Note: I'm embarrassed for several reasons. 1) Kerri is in essence reading it to me -- like I'm a child; 2) I generally don't care for books by Americans who go live overseas then tell everyone how great and perfect it is (blogs that do this in a somewhat lighthearted manner are...ahem.... fine with me); 3) I saw the film adapted from the book on a cross-country flight once and it was unwatchable -- a total pretentious chick flick if you ask this untrained critic.]
Me Likey The Book!
More on that later...but today we visited the village of Cortona, which is where the author purchased and refurbished an old villa -- then published the entire experience. On the right you can see a total stock photo of the village I found on the interet. This photo actually doesn't do it justice at all because the real soul of the village comes when you walk through the narrow streets and visit the shops.
Cortona is about 25km from where we are staying and it is a mountain village that overlooks some of the most gorgeous countryside you could imagine. While it is well documented that the village dates to the Etruscans, the origins of the village are lost in the fog of various myths and legends. Is Cartona 2500 years old? Older? Can it be believed that inhabitants were in the area as soon as 200 years after the great flood? In any case, 'modern' Cortona really flourished and it became a major center in the Lake Trasimeno region. We'll visit several more times while we are here (the kids thought that a weekly Sunday lunch there would be nice), so I'm sure there will be more to share. It seems clear after one visit that several more will be needed in order to really get to know the place.
Oh, and I may have to give that movie a second look.