background of many a Renaissance painting, the Val d’Orcia is of a beauty
unparalleled. In Spring, sheep graze in
undulating lush, green country, punctuated by towering cypress, majestic oak
and chestnut trees.
Whereas the towns have kept their character, the
hilltop villages – exquisite in the landscape tend to be over-restored, empty, mere remnants of past
Lunch in a top, Tuscan garden with the gifted artist,
~ ~ ~
is a charming wine capital. Italian
wines are getting better and better, vino Brunello
di Montalcino and Argiano and, of course, from elsewhere
in Tuscany, Antinori and Frescobaldi. Argiano belongs
to the charming Noemi Marone Cinzano, an exemplary patron, whose Regency London
villa I had great fun restoring, improving and decorating. You might have to go to Patagonia
to find her – she has the Bodega Noemiade Patagonia S.A.
Do not let the wine get the better of you!
Architectural details in Pienza
Pienza – 15th century urban ideal, built as a new town by Pope Piciolomini [Pins II], a meeting of Gothic and Renaissance styles and the classical principles as laid down by the great Alberti who might have designed my JS Malcontenta chair – [below]