The Valley di Orcia is a gorgeous stretch of country. All along the way intervals marked by fortresses built from the 8th century. The original road is covered with a skim of tarmac which hasn’t been renewed for years. The ride is bumpy but beautiful, a perfect day for bumbling along to the sound of church bells echoing through the valley.
We head towards the sulphur baths of Bagno Vignoni and not long before the air filled with the smell of bad eggs. About half way there and we some how missed the turning. Either that or the road is no longer there? CoPilot our GPS app then had a paddy, so we ended up on the back of beyond. Trundling passed a massive geothermal station and loads of sheep. Then through remote farmlands and forests. We have no idea where we went but it was damn pretty and we certainly enjoyed the ride.
We pop out at Sovona and park up on the village car park. Overnight parking is permitted and its free between 6pm and 8am. We arrive around 3pm, so I nip over and place some coins in the ticket machine. €0.50 per hour or €3.50 for the day.
When I return, Craig is lied across the dashboard like a dying fly and making similar noises. He has started to disassemble the over head panel in an attempt to eliminate a squeak. The sun is belting through the windscreen and it doesn’t take long and he looks like a wet beetroot.Almost done and a stern police woman pulls up on her moped. She patrols the patch checking for tickets and takes no prisoners in issuing fines. As she checks out Vin, she gives us a dirty look and a tut. We think she was hoping to rant, show her authority and take pleasure in handing out a ticket!
Our Bumble paid motorhome sosta at Sovana GPS position: for N042.657692, E011.645565
With squeak fixed (hopefully) Craig takes a shower before we head in to the village. The village dates to at least the seventh century BC, when the Etruscans took up residence. It fell to the Romans in the 3rd century BC and then later to Lombard kingdom. We walked up and down the main street before we veered off down a side street.
We spot the ruins of a once elaborate and grand castle. We climb to the top of the hill and look out on the countryside. We sit and dream. If you hitch hike a ride of the back of an eagle that constantly wing through Tuscan skies, you will spy hundreds of castle ruins and burial chambers sprawling below.
A millennium ago Sovona had a castle for ever day of the year. They ranged from handsome towers to audacious architectural standouts built by the ruling Aldobrandeschi clan. A noble clan whose domain extended over much of southern Tuscany and northern Lazio. With the an outbreak of malaria in the 1400’s, the estate quickly fell in the hands of Siena.
Our last night in Tuscany, as tomorrow we head to the coast…and this time no distractions otherwise Mac n Tosh will fall out with us.