Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Comfort of the Tuscan Sun

Buon giorno!
Hallalujah we have arrived! We have made our way up the coast of Italy and are staying at the Santa Ciara Study Center where groups from A&M have come to stay since the 80's.
View of downtown area of Castilion Florentino.
City hopping by bus and train is exciting but being able to settle into one place for more than two nights has given me (I think all would agree) a bit more peace. We were welcomed with some Italian "sweet tea" which was surprisingly more sweet than home made Texas tea! Guess they know how to make a weary traveler feel at home! We had time to claim our bunk beds then set out again for some time under the Tuscan sun. 
The scenery of Tuscany is breathtaking. On our second full day in Castiglion Fiorentino I found myself on the veranda of the Center completely consumed in the warm sun and captivated by the view. Birds sang sweet melodies and cool breezes whispered up across the valley. Italian cypress tress sprinkled the view and villa tops peeked out from between the orchard rows. Three old church roofs were in eye sight almost every way I could look. 

View of Castilion Florentino from downtown area.
The town of Castiglion Fiorentino has been around since 700 BC and the walls that surround downtown have many stories to tell. The current population is about 14,000 and the city is divided into three districts, the Porta Romana, Porta Fiorentina and Cassero. While each district is part of Castiglion Fiorentino, they each have their own flag and unique pride. This Sunday the city is putting on an event called "The Palio" a competitive horse race between all three districts. The streets of the city will be filled with members from each district dressed to represent their home district and ready to cheer on their jockey. Stayed tuned for more information on the weekend events, truthfully I am not sure what to expect! 

Until next time, Ciao!
Josie E

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