The Sunday Traveler has been taking you down memory lane the last several weeks, remembering a 2002 trip to Italy, and getting hard copy photos onto my digital file. At last. Sometimes it takes a couple years to get things done. But I digress; I spent a wonderful week in Italy back then, with a tour group from my home area. Day trips were organized from our home base of Montecatini Terme, and this day we drove up to this hill town, this 12th century hill town encircled by a 13th centry wall. I remember shivering and feeling awe as I walked through this entry and under this arch of the wall. I couldn’t help but put my hand on the wall to touch it and connect to it physically, and thinking of all the peoples in those years so very long ago passing through this very spot.
They came, passed through the walls, walked down these very streets; narrow winding streets now lined with galleries and shops in some of the buildings. I think I enjoyed the shops and galleries more for the interior of the building, not the wares for sale.
I spent most of the day wandering up and down little pathways, enjoying the greenery and walls of the town.
The Duomo de San Gimignano, the front steps were busy, too many people for me, and the interior of the church was also crowded. As I took this photo I realized I was hearing harp music coming from somewhere in back of the church. I followed the music and walked around the side of the church, a small empty piazza, with a man playing a harp in the shadows of the church, and no one else was there. I stood there absolutely rooted to the spot; the music was other wordly, soft and played with such quiet passion. I could not believe no one else had been lured back here with the music, had not been pulled away from the crowd in front of the church to come to listen to this. I shake my head in wonder still, that I had a private concert; a moment there is no photo of, except in my memory. I like to think it will never lose its beauty this way.