Oggi Andiamo al mercato e San Galgano

I’m reading The Wisdom of Tuscany by Ferenc Mate. It’s the third in his trilogy about living in this area. He writes: “There is something about the benevolent aspect of the Tuscan countryside that on the one hand, calms, and on the other, turns wild. It may be the mix of hamlets, vineyards, fields, and gnarled woods, a blend of civilization and wilderness entangled. And it affects you no matter how long you’ve lived here, as if every day you saw the world with brand new eyes.” p. 88

Il Mercato

We went to the Thursday market. Tonight is the last night for Karl and Caroline, so we shopped for our goodbye dinner. Every routine task becomes a new adventure in Italy.

Sandra at the mercato.

After we walked back to our apartment, we split up between wine tasters and art lovers. Sandra and I drove to the Abbey of San Galgano in the middle of nowhere. It was a Cisterian Abbey built in the 1200s but later abandoned for a new location in Siena. San Galgano was a soldier who renounced war by sticking his sword into a stone. In the hermitage we saw the bones of the “envious man” who tried to remove the sword from the stone. Apparently, a wolf who was friends with the saint,   attacked the envious man, and we saw his bones and creeping skin in  the reliquary of the chapel.

      The abbey was struck by lightning, which brought down the roof, but before that a monk sold the lead from the roof which contributed to its collapse. It was a beautiful, haunting, sacred space.

San Galgano interior: where we ate our picnic

San Galgano interior: where we ate our picnic

View of the Hermitage of San Galgano

View of the Hermitage of San Galgano

IMG_1794

Hermitage interior. This building dates to 1182 and includes the sword in the stone.

Hermitage interior. This building dates to 1182 and includes the sword in the stone.

Frescoes relating the life of San Galgano, Madonna and Child with Eve reclining, Evangelists.

Frescoes relating the life of San Galgano, Madonna and Child with Eve reclining, Evangelists.

 In order to see the frescoes, we had to put 50 centesimi into a little box, which turned on the lights for about one minute. We ate lunch in the corner of the abbey and watched the swallows and bright blue sky pouring through the windows. It was so still and beautiful. Perhaps it’s remote location prevented it from being recycled into new monuments.

 Tonight we prepared a feast with olive ascolane, frie

Abbiamo bevuto troppo vini!

Abbiamo bevuto troppo vini!

d zucchini flowers, caprese salad, pesto, green beans, followed by creme of limoncello and meloncello.

La Nostra Cena Festa

La Nostra Cena Festa

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About ssteven2

I'm a reader, writer, swimmer, and school librarian. I love my summers so I can travel.
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One Response to Oggi Andiamo al mercato e San Galgano

  1. jmkennon says:

    Sara–I love the quote from “The Wisdom of Tuscany”! The abbey is amazing, and I love the stories about the sword in the stone and the man who tried to take it. Your photos are just stunning! You should publish a book of them. I could also just look at the beautiful food in the markets forever! I am so happy to know that you made your fried zucchini blossoms–I knew you would! A lovely farewell dinner for Caroline and Karl! Oh–I just started “Four Seasons in Rome” by Anthony Doerr–have you read it? It’s about Trastavere–I bet you would enjoy it.

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