The next painting is a trip down the Valtiberina Valley, a pure delight, especially if you approach it from the Aggia Valley side. Drive up to the stoic walled town of Monte Santa Maria Tiberina (MSMT) and follow the winding, narrow road down to where Monterchi and Citerna stand staring each other out, as they have for centuries.
Halfway down you’ll see the hill top village of Lippiano in front of you. Its strange tower dominates the horizon as you get closer. This is a lovely, quiet little place with an elaborate fountain and a supposed, Templar church as well. The views from here are gorgeous and you can make out MSMT in the distance, amongst the wooded skyline.
Crossing from Tuscany, back into Umbria and rounding the hills you get your first close up of Monterchi. Famous for its Piero della Francesca painting, “Madonna del Parto“. Not to be out done in their rivalry, Citerna recently discovered a long lost Donatello sculpture, “Madonna col Bimbo”.
The landscape also takes a turn, instead of rough woodland and rocky fields, there is more agriculture and you’ll pass vineyards, olive groves and fields of bright yellow sunflowers (at the right time of year).
A change in the weather as autumn sets in has brought us some dramatic skies, with leadened clouds, heavy with rain. These swirling masses with the pale yellow peaking through will make a great backdrop on which to paint the four towns, once again bathed in all shades of green, with maybe a little seasonal orange, red and ochre for good measure.