Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Touring Along the Road to Scarperia

Today's 100k tour took us up to the Mugello region, following a route along the Sieve River. Leif joined me and Clare today, and knowing this region well, led the way to Scarperia, known for its famous international autodrome, where we refueled with a caffe' and panino in this very warm and cozy diminuitive town.

As we entered the main piazza, I was struck by the imposing medieval Palazzo dei Vicari, whose facade is decorated with coats of arms of the Vicars, some of which were finished in glazed terracotta. The style of these looked familiar to me, and I wondered if they might have been the work of the della Robbia family. When I got home, I looked it up, and found out that
I was correct! It made me feel good to know that I am starting to get a "feel" for certain aspects of Florentine art. I also learned that this building had been damaged by 5 earthquakes in the past 500 years, and restored each time.

I'm packing a day bag and getting ready to go to Verona for the next 2 days for an opera break. It's been several years since I've seen an opera in the Verona arena, and made last minute plans to see Tosca, one of my all-time favorites.