June 21 Castiglione del Lago (Day 268)

Happy Summer Solstice!

Today we explored Castiglione del Lago our home for a few days.

The square with the non-working fountain, from the small balcony of our Airbnb.

After breakfast we went out to explore the small village within the medieval walls. The lane between the buildings at the top of the picture above leads to the north of the 3 gates, Porta Fiorentina. Turning left rather than going down to the gate took us two buildings over to the main Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, built in 1836 after the older and smaller medieval church was demolished.

The inside is richly decorated with geometric frescoes giving 3D impressions.

We went through another gate, Porta Senese, at the west point of the elongated oval wall circling the old village.

The gate opens onto a terrace overlooking the fountain and a stairway going down to the straight “Road to Montepulciano”.

We turned back into the village and walked to the other end (east) of the walled town.

Another smaller church is decorated with gilded frescoes.

At the east end of the wall is the fortress or Rocca del Leone, built in the 13th century on a pentagon plan resembling the constellation of Leo. It is possible to go up on the guard walkway, towers and keep for great views but we couldn’t find the route!

Inside the fortress is a theater where kids were rehearsing a play, in the muggy heat! There was also a small snack bar for a cold beer!

Also the ruins of an ancient church, where Robert was introduced to ‘Art’!

We went back to our air conditioned apartment, cleaned up and had lunch. Later, after dinner and as it cooled down after sunset, we went for a stroll around the outside of the walls.

Looking up at the west gate, Porta Senese, lit up for the night.

As we walked around we passed lots of cars parked in the parking slots along the wall. We peeked into a gated entrance into the center of the fortress at the east end and saw that the kids were presenting their play they had been practicing for this morning! The seats were filled with their family and friends!

The square under our balcony was quieting down after the football game on the TV at the bar below us!

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