We left our lovely B&B and headed west-ish into the heart of Tuscany and the Val d’Orcia, an area so beautiful it is a UNESCO World Heritage Center. This is the area most people imagine when they think of Tuscany — square houses with thick pale peach and pink walls, terracotta tile roofs, and driveways lined with dark green, oblong trees.
We stayed two nights in the delightful Il Giardino degli Etruschi (Garden of the Etruscans), a Bed & Breakfast just outside Chiusi. There are five bedrooms, each with it’s own bathroom and unique sense of style. Geothermal heat keeps the rooms cool during the summer and there is a pool for lazing by. The breakfast was delicious! Homemade sweet things and jam, breads (both sweet and plain), cured meats, cheeses, fruit, yogurt, coffee, juice, and tea. Carolina and Paolo are wonderful hosts — stay here if you’re in the area.
Villa Lante was a late add to our itinerary and was such a great idea. Built by a Catholic Cardinal with a serious fascination with water, it has tiny echoes of the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. Particularly the waterway cascading down the center of the garden’s top and middle terraces.
Amazingly, yesterday’s flooding left no marks – it was as if the deluge never happened. We woke up at our usual late morning time, finished the leftovers as a quick breakfast and then made our way to the local rental car office. Within an hour we were on the road to Cerveteri, a 3000-year-old necropolis or city of the dead.
About 3000 years ago people built a city here, and it stretched all the way to the sea, 17km away. They had three sea ports and traded in iron, making them a very powerful group for a very long time.