Tuscany from the top

Much has been written about the Tuscan landscape and the walled towns and cities built centuries ago on many of the hilltops. At 500-600 meters, which doesn’t seem like much, they are comparable to the height of our own Lummi mountain at 505 m. That doesn’t SOUND all that high, but if you have made the hike, you know that a) the view from that altitude is really quite stunning, and b) it takes a fair amount of energy to get up there.

Which makes me wonder, okay, so the good news is that you have this secure haven up on the hilltop, which is a hassle to invade, and easy to defend, but on the other hand, you have to schlep EVERYTHING up the hill. Interesting tradeoff…makes me think that whoever the Bad Guys were (it’s always the Other guys’ guys, whoever they are, and other guys’ guys being what they always are, they wanna come in and take your stuff, and mess you up, and take all your women, you know, the usual), you did NOT want to let them in. Like, if you are going to spend CENTURIES schlepping huge stones up a hill like that to build a wall, you have to be SERIOUSLY motivated, that’s all I’m saying.

So today’s slide show (link below) shows a few of the views from some of the hilltop towns, including “our own” Montalcino. (see terrain map), which, as you can see from the image, is the toppiest top in a sea of other tops, an intense landscape, and even if the wine is really good, who is going to go to all the trouble to invade a place like that? Seriously. I think you can get the picture from this photo from Wikipedia, which I am assuming must be taken not from an airplane, but from the top of the walls of the fortress at Montalcino, which, by the way, has in it now one business, at which you can taste and buy from a wide selection of Brunellos and Rossos, sort of the local Chamber of Commerce de Vino.

Montalcino from atop the fortress wall (wide angle Wikipedia photo):

Click on the image above to enlarge…click on image below to open the slide show…I recommend setting the timing for ten seconds or so, and putting it on Full Screen…
Slide Show: taken from the top
Tuscany Trip 2010 Sighs and Reflections

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