Landing in Pisa was a breeze - nonstop from JFK on Delta. The van rental was a breeze as well once I was shown the way to find your car is by just pushing the remote to see which one lights up - So why did they bother to write D21 on my contract? Who needs rows and numbered spaces?
Drove the back roads to Pienza from Pisa - the secondary road to the freeway consists of many one lane bridges and railroad crossings. At one such crossing where we waited for the train to pass - the driver in front got out of his car and walked over to the Tabacchi down the street - bought a pack of cigarettes - returned to his car - and promptly after his return, along came the train - and we all continued on - Ahhh, the rhythm of Italy.
When I come to Pienza, I stay at the Albergo Rutiliano - a small 10 room B and B within walking distance to the town - with all the modern conveniences and always an especially warm and pleasant reception thanks to Silvia!
I woke the next morning to the ever present church bells bidding the day buongiorno. This day I visited the magnificent estate of La Foce - a 10,000 acre family owned olive oil producing estate which also offers fantastic lodging options and the perfect place for a memorable wedding with its striking gardens and stately cypress trees guarding the estate.
After my tour at La Foce, I headed over to the Abbey of Sant' Antimo - an 11th century place of worship where the brothers sing out Gregorian Chants prior to every mass - This great structure is filled with the vibrations of their prayers seven times per day – You could tell easily who were the visitors and who were the residents by who knew exactly when to stand and when to sit during the prayer – I found it is as simple as following the brother’s actions. And the brother’s chants fill and follow you after you go - a spiritual experience no matter your beliefs. Ciao for now.