Almost Wordless Wednesday: What you See and What You Don’t

La Pieve di Santo Stefano

La Pieve di Santo Stefano

The Val di Luni, the crescent-shaped valley that extends inland from the mouth of the Magra River along the Tosco-Ligurian border almost to Emilia, boasts a great number of medieval castles and Romanesque churches, and if you drive through the area on a nice summer day you’re certain to find shutterbugs clicking away.

The 11th century Pieve di Santo Stefano in Sorano is one of the most popular subjects, the apse especially, and it often appears in promotional materials prepared by the local tourist board. Always cropped to include the outer wall, or starting mid-way up the apse, and to be honest I never thought about why it was cropped this way until I stopped myself one day, got out of the car, and took the shot above.

Santo Stefano: What's Behind the Wall

Santo Stefano: What’s Behind the Wall

Then I walked in and discovered the church, which is an old, old, parish church, is surrounded by the graves, some old and some quite recent, of the parishioners. This is something the tourist board might not want to announce, but if you enjoy wandering about graveyards looking at the headstones (and I do) it makes the church seem much more immediate.

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Categories: Almost Wordless Wednesday

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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