Le celle

Trip Start Jul 03, 2005
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Trip End Feb 02, 2006


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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Woke up to find the groves beyond the church bells looking misty and fresh. Just as well that the view was nice, because the breeze coming through the stone monastery window did not make getting out of bed inviting.

After a patisserie breakfast with Sergio and the girls, I decided to walk off the pastry and merengue on a short hike to the Eremo Le Celle de San Francesco - a monastery built in 1211 in the hills near Cortona. Well, not that near. As I discovered after a couple of hours of strolling along the beautiful little mountainside road in my flip-flops. You come upon the hermitage suddenly, rounding a corner to find a narrow path shooting down towards a clump of long buildings folded tightly together, set in a little hollow of gardens, woods and pond. Signs advise the visitor to maintain sacred silence, that inspiration and peace may find him like they did S.Francesco so many centuries ago.

I collapsed gratefully on a warm, quiet wall overlooking the pond and wrote for a while. I'll admit the prospect of the walk back was somewhat ruining my enjoyment, and I fair well prayed for one of the few other visitors to take pity on me and offer me a ride back to town. Once I had basked in the atmosphere long enough, I reluctantly set off to get the inevitable over with. Was somewhat consoled by being able to pick fresh almonds and hazelnuts up from under their trees and crack them open to eat on the road. It's the little things.

I had walked maybe 3 minutes when a car pulled up alongside me. Turns out that Sergio lives in the house next to Le Celle, and happened to look out of his window as I passed. My chariot awaited. Think I should pray more often.
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