Montepulciano is an ancient hill-top town (one of MANY) famed for, amongst other things, the marvellous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. You've never tasted anything like it in your LIFE!! I'm not a wine aficionado but this was nectar for Bacchus himself!
Actually, Montepulciano was one place that benefited from me not singing there, as our first concert was in fact in Florence.
We made it to Florence around 4pm on the day of the concert, but after rehearsals in a wonderful little church in the Via del Corso, I was too late to get inside the Duomo. I did take *several* pictures of the bell tower (above); the cathedral exterior; and the marvellous Baptistry, the bronze-panelled doors of which were supposed to have inspired the young Michaelangelo onto new and dizzying heights of sculpturific grandeur!
Lorenzo Ghiberti and finished in 1422
Our final concert was in Siena. I fell in love with this town - for me it was a place of wonder, beauty and inspiration. I took over 150 photos here alone, so please indulge me if I add more than one here...
After wandering around I finally came across the famous Siena Duomo, said by some to resemble a black and white liquorice allsort! NO NO NO!
Sadly, you weren't allowed to use flash photography or use tripods here, so the quality isn't 100% but if you do nothing else with this post, you must click on the photo above - there's soooo much to see! So much colour! The Nave at the back; the angels on the arch supports; the busts of the Popes from Saint Peter to Lucius III arranged along the top of the pillars; the ceiling sky of golden stars on a deep blue background... I spent a total of 4 hours in here between rehearsals and the concert. Can you tell I was in love?
Moving down through the cathedral you arrived underneath the dome.
I've already posted a photo of the whole ceiling (C is for...!) but here's one in detail:
I was particularly taken with one of the wall panels showing 'Enea Silvio at the Scottish Court'. I knew that there was an important Papal ambassador at the court of James the First in 1435 (my Dad was a history teacher specialising in Scottish history!) but it was lovely to make the connection between that knowledge and this amazing library! I particularly like the non-Scottish scenery and the depiction of James the First as a very old man. (James was 41 in 1435 - not decrepit even in those days!)
Lastly I'll leave you with one of the fine examples of the Psalter illuminations. They were all stunning, needless-to-say!