Having picked the vehicle up in Chiusi we actually did pretty well with the hire car, we stuck to the back roads, avoided the A1 motorway and it was my job to navigate and keep to the correct side of the road. Only one incident where we found the right road sign but it had the arrow going to the wrong direction, bit of a panic and all sorts of things going wrong but no one was hurt and the car not dented!
First stop Pitigliano yet another old hill town with very high walls.
We stayed in an apartment in Orsini Castle, albeit in the servants quarters, the museum is in the main part.
Below is the courtyard view from our kitchen windows.
Next two pics show the road approach to Pitigliano and the tight corners. Some corners were so tight many vehicles had to have two goes to get around but everyone goes slow and is obliging.
We struck two wet days in this town so what to do? Hot pool swim at Terme di Saturnia was in order. These pools are on the side of a hill and formed by thermal water rich in calcium (I imagine much like the Pink and White Terraces of Rotorua used to be).
One night in Bagnioreggio, I thought because Pete wanted to take me to a particular restaurant for my birthday dinner; well yes but he also wanted to get on the restaurant roof to take night photos of Civeta, the hilltop town we visited at the start of the trip where the sides of the hill are falling away. Turns out the ground had fallen away from under the restaurant and it was closed. Our hosts suggested a super alternative in town and I pigged out on truffles, a delicacy of the area, so much so I couldn't cope with desert. I nearly put this shuttle in my suitcase when we left next morning.
Having our own wheels meant we could stop on the side of the road when and where we wanted. Autumn was just peeping in with a little colour.
And so we reached San Quirico d'Orca and our accommodation in the country. You know you're in the right place when you're greeted by a skeiner at the office door.
Above and below are pics of the Abbieza Antimo. While I waited and waited for the real photographer to get his shot I pledged to travel with a small project, maybe crochet or a spindle and sliver, in my shoulder bag next time for such occasions!
I seem to have forgotten to use my camera from now on. We did go to another hot spa while in this area and spent an afternoon in the pools.
After a week tripping around we returned the car to Chiusi. It always surprised us that the towns ended at the city walls and then it was countryside - no merging of the two.
I felt I was starting the homeward journey from here. From Chiusi we took a bus, 3 trains and another bus to Ostio Lido, our last stop in Italy but Pete couldn't resist so we spent the afternoon at Ostia Antica, ancient Rome's seaport founded around 620 BC.
I have to say it was a wonderful trip but so good to be back on New Zealand soil.