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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tiny, tiny towns - Monterone

One of my favorite things about my Italy-adventure were the itsy-bitsy, still-inhabited, medieval hill-top towns.


Monterone was one of the closest to the mulino, and was collection of steeply stacked, stone buildings and streets (more like wide alleys) clustered within large stone walls encircling the top of a hill. It dates from the 1300s and is still lived in.


One of the things I always found surprising about the building methods of this time period is that *everything* is bricked or stoned over. There is no 'green' or earth showing anywhere. With the exception of a few potted geraniums.


Also, these connective walkways? bridges? what would you call these? seem to be a popular feature in these old, narrow-streeted places. Hugely atmospheric - but I'd be a bit leary actually utilizing one that looks this old, I believe.


You can see how steeply narrow the streets are here - straddling either side of the wedge-shaped building and angling uncomfortably up or down... Although this is officially a village and these are 'public' streets, they are all so close together that it felt more like trespassing in people's front or back yards...


I was always amused by the jarring juxtaposition of modern-day life and technology imposing itself on these very old locations...

8 comments:

Cre8Tiva said...

Tara: I love the tiny towns of Italy and France... I can transport my imagination to wonderful places and distant times. Thank you for taking me along... Blessings, Rebecca

roz said...

Thanks so much for posting these gorgeous pics. I'm desperate to visit Italy myself and these pictures just confirm that I need to!

Merisi said...

What beautiful images!
I know where I am going to wander when coffee break comes around in the afternoon.
Quick greetings from Vienna! :-)

roz said...

PS. Saw one of your books today at Posy. http://posy.typepad.com/posy/
You probably already knew of this but if not, thought you'd like to see someone reading on of the fairy books you illustrated.
=o)

Abraham Lincoln said...

It is a series of fabulous buildings and your story is most interesting. When I see these kinds of buildings and am reminded of what happens to them in an earthquake. It is not a pretty picture. I am amazed that these have stood the test of time.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate seeing your name there.

Merisi said...

Tara,
re your comment on my blog:
I set out yesterday to look for ugly things to shoot, as a sort of "treat" for you. I despaired, what's the definition of ugly, anyway? I photographed a cobble stoned street, but then dismissed it, being "ugly to my non-cobble-street fit sandals' not so low heels" does not count, and then, what language, I mean, at the end I despaired. Even the rainy streets looked beautiful to me. I feel like in a Dante's inferno, caught without exit to the "ugliness" out there, I shall put on weight, having to comfort myself with cherry strudels. Oh, Tara, do you have any easier quest for me? Like "dogs" that got away from me while I tried to "shoot" them? Or the rose petals that started falling the moment I breathed to hard?
Yours truly,
clueless to ugliness,
desperate in Vienna,
Merisi

lorenzothellama said...

What delightful pictures. Italy is my favourite country. I always feel totally at home there and feel quite home-sick when I leave. If I were a Buddhist I would be convinced I had an earlier incarnation there.
Greetings from Cheshire, UK!

Naturegirl said...

Thank You for sharing all these wonderfull photos of your recent trip to Italy! The old structures are amazing certainly built by a dying breed of crafstmen! I find the street of brick and stone very cold...I need MORE green and color! Sometimes when I am in the city I get the same feeling looking at all the concrete in skyscrapers...I almost feel like I cannot breath! You certainly got lots of inspiration for your future drawings I'm sure! We shall be travelling to Europe next fall I may ask you for tips on visiting highlights in Italy! hugs NG