1 EAGLETON NOTES: Volterra

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Saturday, 29 September 2012

Volterra

Around 20 years ago I was one of five people who went on holiday to a holiday rental called 'La Pergola' near Casole d'Elsa in the heart of Tuscany.  The other four were my wife, Carol, Wendy and Martin (now my New Zealand 'family') and a dear friend Catherine.  It was one of those combinations that worked well.  Sometimes we all went out exploring.  Sometimes some did and others stayed by the pool and had a lazy day or part of a day.  Volterra was quite close and was a place that Catherine and I loved but the other three thought was too dark and forboding.  So Catherine and I would take ourselves off on the occasional afternoon to explore.  So this holiday I made sure that it was a place high on the list of priorities for a visit.  Of all the places we visited it has changed the most since that first visit I made to La bella Toscana.  Then it was a relatively quiet town compared to San Giminiano and Siena but now it is as busy and as touristy as the rest of them.  Having said that I still liked it and I think it had more to offer and more character than any other place we visited.  I'm not sure that I thought that at the time but in retrospect........

The heavily fortified wall
One of the piazzas




Unlike some of the other towns the traffic of residents still moves through the crowded and narrow streets



I had lunch at that very street terrace restaurant 20 odd years ago when the streets were deserted at lunchtime

It would appear that I took more photos of Volterra than any other place and here is more to come.  But not just now.  I think I've subjected you to enough for one post.

12 comments:

  1. Oh Graham, how I envy your footsteps....such beauty there is to see in the rest of the world.

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    1. Thanks Heather. There is so much beauty all around us. The problem is that we so often just don't look. You see it though your camera and it's the camera that has focussed my eyes for much of my life and now blogging enforces that.

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  2. A wonderful walk round. I don't know how I missed this area of the world.

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    1. Tuscany would provide you with riches beyond belief. I'd love to see your take on it all Adrian.

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  3. When I was travelling on an organised bus tour through the Toscana with my Mum in 1984 or 1985, we stopped in Volterra, too. I seem to remember the Roman (?) entrance gate in the city wall with the head of Minerva in the middle, but little else.
    Your pictures are beautiful; I suppose you can guess which one holds the most appeal to me!
    Do you know what the name of the restaurant, "Il Porcellino", means? :-)

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    1. Thanks Meike. There is more to come including the Roman Amphitheatre. I'm not sure whether the gate with the head was Roman or Etruscan - I'll have to look that up. Oddly on this occasion I do know what a porcellino is. I can even remember why I know. I assumed originally it was 'pig' but when I discovered that pig was actually maiale I looked it up and discovered it was piglet. I have remembered that - unusually for me.

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  4. This looks like a town where I'd love to go for a touristy stroll. These are all such great street pictures, Graham, freezing people (and animals) in a wide range of positions and activities that tickle the imagination of the viewer.

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    1. Thanks Monica. Despite the crowds I still loved Volterra.

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  5. OOH I'm loving all these wonderful photos...please keep them coming.
    It's funny how time and memory lapse can distort our perceptions of long ago memories sometimes.
    Glad that you were able to enjoy Volterra once again.."foreboding" or not.
    I especially enjoyed the photos of folks caught in their natural positions (girls having gelato sitting on the doorsteps, the little boy marching along with his family)...nice simple photos catch me every time...thanks.

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    1. I have so many photos Virginia that I could keep them coming for weeks and weeks but I'll spare us all that! I'd love to be able to do more candid photography but it involves a certain amount of dedication and asking people if they mind which then loses the candidness. I once lost the photo of a lifetime when a youngster was walking towards me. I've little doubt that the parents would have agreed but the shot was one moment in a lifetime. Asking after you've done something is too late.....or that's what I thought at the time. Now I'd take it and then tell the parents and offer it to them.

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  6. Wow, these crazy little streets! It may be the movies I've watched over the years, but they conjour up thoughts of fog, suspense, and a story!

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    1. I'm sure that you could make up all sorts of stories in a city like this Norma. I'm also pretty sure that no stories could match the reality of all the intrigue that will have filled these streets over the last 700 or more years when the various families of what is now Italy fought for supremacy and control.

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