Another beautiful drive through Tuscany. Again we drove through Pienza to Montalcino and then south to the Abbey of Sant’ Antimo, the Romanesque church from the 12th century where the monks still perform Mass in Latin with Gregorian chanting. One priest spends almost the whole time swinging his sensor of frankinsence, and the smoke rises up through the natural light pouring through the windows onto the warm stone columns. The Gregorian chanting was beautiful, and we were able to follow along with the Latin in our programs. The monks voices in that medieval setting gave you a strong sense of the deep history of the Church. I also thought of Dad, who used to listen to Gregorian chants on a cassette player near his favorite chair. The church is surrounded by vineyards and includes some comical gargoyles on the exterior.
After Mass, we drove to Montalcino for lunch at La Taverna di Grappolo Blu. And here is a grappolo that we saw in a vineyard near the church.
We wandered around Montalcino a bit. I particularly love the cafe in the main piazza that dates to 1888. We had another chance to see Sodoma frescoes, so we detoured on the way home up by Trequanda to Saint Anna di Camprena, an old church and monastery now transformed into an Agriturismo. As luck would have it, you can only view the frescoes between 4 and 6 pm, so once again our plans were obstructed. Still, everywhere we turn, beautiful views.
We also enjoyed the last line on this sign. We hope we did not disappoint in our upbringing.
And on the lovely, winding drive home, we had to stop and take a photo of this lovely view of Montepulciano with San Biagio beneath. Now it is pausa. Everything shuts down at the hottest time of the day, and we nap and shower and rest until cena.