12 hours ago
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Certaldo Alto, Italy
Double click on the picture to see it more clearly.
I first heard of Certaldo Alto when I studied Boccaccio at University, where I majored in Italian studies. A few years later I found myself standing inside the church of SS. Jacopo and Filippo, built in the thirteenth century. It contains a fourteenth century font, Boccaccio’s tombstone on the floor, and the della Robbias up on the walls.
On my long stay in Italy – the time I went for three months, I took my two sons into the church. The oldest was fascinated by the resident saint, well preserved in her glass cage. The youngest and I sat in a pew for quite a while, enjoying the serenity and the quiet beauty of the artwork.
In 2005 when I walked up to the top of Via Boccaccio, where I am standing in the photo, there was a handwritten card by the bell on an apartment door with the surname of my children and the first name of their grandfather. A coincidence.
I have a watercolor painting of Certaldo, that is one of my favorite pictures. I like to have a cappuccino from one of the cafés there, stroll from one end of the town to the other, look across at tiny San Gimignano, way over in the distance – and check out the current cats.