I think this must be one of the most famous trees in Italy. This is on a slope by the road that leads from San Quirico d’Orcia, the ancient Etruscan village a mile from San Buona Ventura where we are, to Montalcino.

On the way to Montalcino

We became a bit sick from the traveling and stopped into a Farmacia to get some cough drops and were astounded by the frescos that looked like this..

There are a million more places to see, paintings to discover, restaurants to eat in, museums to walk through, beautiful scenes to contemplate. It is not surprising we feel so at ease here. Beauty and grace is so natural here. In the countryside that surrounds us and in the way the women – and men – wear even simple jeans and a t shirt but look stunning. Simplicity and down to earth grumblings are du jour and makes your ears burn and heart laugh as you receive words of wisdom, whether you ask or not – from the local vegetable vendor, the pharmacist and the counter lady at the espresso bar. It’s adorable.