went - in reverse order - through Siena and San Gimignano - reverse order, because this top picture is of Siena Duomo - one of my very favorite, and very stripey, cathedrals ever.
Here are some Tuscan hilltowns in one of its many extraordinary marble pavements - the whole of the drive to Rome was full of little towns, with towers, perched on hill tops.
San Gimignano has, of course, more towers than anywhere else, and they were shining beautifully in the morning sun as we drove up - a tiny city, straight out of the background of a Renaissance fresco. Sadly, none of these three pictures are actually of towers... I'd heard that the town is impossibly touristy these days, and indeed, they were beginning to pack in just as we were leaving - it's probably forty years since I was last there (I've spent time much more recently in Siena - though, indeed, not for twenty years). A good deal of this trip has involved me quietly comparing my past self with my current one, in places that have been indelibly formative for me - and one of the many things I've learned, through this, is that I've become a much better observer, looker, spectator - it helps, indeed, to know more - not about history, or material culture, or whatever, per se, but just about the practice of looking.