Flaminia’s Villa

We’re back in Chiusi, you and me, Chiusi Scalo
leaving the railway station
passing under the umbrella pines
and up the winding road scarped through the rise
lined with green trees and creepers
towards Querce Al Pino (Forest of Pines)
that confluence of roads leading to more towns in Siena.
There’s the Etrusco Chiusi Supermercato
where no one speaks English
but we came away laden with wine and food
prosecco and moscato and brunello
fresh basil pesto, crostini and bistecca alla fiorentina
and double zero flour to make focaccia.

There’s the Hotel del Sole
and La Taverna del Patriarca
where we had our first dinner
and there’s the bus stop.
That quiet turn off to the right
leads past the barnyard geese, turkeys and cats
some villas and vineyards
and another large villa
by the long and dusty road.
David’s villa is up ahead
and there’s the castle to the east
but we turn left and
pass down the hill through the gates
to Flaminia’s villa.

Flaminia’s villa looks west
through trees and down a steep slope.
It’s a golden and light green vista
of fallow fields and chestnut trees
and large villas over there and there.
The porch has a long table and chairs
for drinks tea coffee and dinners
and good arguments
late morning and long into the night
until autumn ends
the nights are cooler
and we have to leave.

We strike out for the day to discover
Etruscan tombs in old Chiusi
ceramics in Orvieto
antiques in Arezzo
sweets in Perugia
meringues in Castiglione del Lago
cakes in Siena
ramparts in Lucca and
art and gelato everywhere.
Pienza has funghi soup and Romeo and Juliet
and The English Patient with frescoes in the monastery.
In Montalcino we buy brunello
and drink sparkling rose
eat honey and cheese while
looking on the old fort.
Montepulciano has music and
that little yellow bus
that goes from the station
right up the old narrow street.
And it’s there, there in Montepulciano
in a little shop on the old street
I find my blue woolen hat and
bring it home to Flaminia’s villa.

Copyright Sandra Roe

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