Reaching Ever Higher

The hill towns of Tuscany

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge provides the theme of Ascend.

There were a number of approaches to this theme that came to mind rather quickly, so you can expect more than one post for this theme…

As a started, I couldn’t help but think of the amount of ascending that my wife and I did while exploring the hill towns of Tuscany this year.  These picturesque towns had us climbing everywhere, as very few streets stayed at the same level very long, and none had us do more climbing than Massa Marittima, as we even ascended the tower at the top of the town for an amazing view.

Here’s part of the climbing that we did in Massa Marittima…

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Where do they lead?

Luckily, the great food kept us well-sustained for all this climbing!

Have a wonderful day!

Tuscan Rooftops – pt. 1

Shouting about rooftops!

During our vacation in Italy, I got plenty of opportunity to photograph the rooftops in a number of cities.  So, why not do a series of posts on rooftops.

This first installment is from the lovely hilltown of Massa Marittima.  In this town, we encountered some of the longest, steep climbs, as we made our way to the top to climb even further up the Torre del Candeliere, which provided the first view…

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Looking over Massa Marittima

The second image is from walking along those steep streets to catch wonderful views that combine both the old and new…

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Old and New

Many more to come!

Massa Marittima and beyond

Climbs and views!

As ost of our explorations have been further into the hills, there was definitely room for a trip that used the other direction, toward the Mediterranean.  Relatviely close to where we are staying, we found Massa Marittima, a lovely little town with some seriously climbing streets!

Upon entering Massa Marittima, we found ourselves in a lovely piazza with the main palazzo and the cathedral of San Cerbone, who was a bishop in this region during barbaric times (6th century C.E.) with the rather unpopular habit of saying mass at the break of dawn on Sunday rather than waiting for a respectable hour.  This got him in trouble with Pope Vigilius, who recalled him to Rome.  During his trip to Rome he performed several miracles, such as healing and taming wild geese by making the sign of the cross.  In Rome, he woke Pope Vigilius up early stating that it was time for mass, as the angels were signing; Vigilius agreed that he heard heavenly voices too, and allowed Cerbone to perform mass at any time of his choosing after that.

The lower part of Massa Marittima is wonderful, but the best views are found by going up toward the Torre del Candeliere and taking in the view from atop this tower; the climb inside the tower is not for the faint of heart, but you are rewarded with a phenomenal view.

After working up an appetite, stop by il Gatto e la Volpe (the cat and the fox), in one of many alleys for a phenomenal meal.  The Etruscan style rabbit was amazing and dessert was simply stunning.

After some further driving around and dipping toes in the Mediterranean by Follonica, we were looking for some gelato and wound up in Scarlino; this sleepy little town is the home of the Rocca Aldobrandesca, an old fortress built by the Aldobrandeschi family.  Getting out of town was an adventure, as I got to go down some steep, narrow streets that were made for nothing much larger than our little Fiat 500.