Yesterday, it was only by chance that we went to Toppole, a small mediaeval hamlet in the hills above Anghiari. A friend who had been visiting family in Padova was here for just a few days, and, as she has never been to Anghiari before, I’d given some thought to the choice of a nearby walk to do. In a distracted state, however, I drove to Toppole instead of the place I’d planned on. In response to my ‘oh, wrong place’ as we turned the last bend, Marisa said ‘don’t worry, maybe it’ll be the right place.’
Having decided to have a bit of a look around the hamlet before setting off on the walk, we climbed up an ancient cobbled path, and found a seat at the top. We just sat, quietly, in amazement at what was before us. The most wonderful chorus of birds, dazzling greens and yellows, olive trees shimmering in sunlight, spring air, and the sound of a stream in the valley below. Marisa took this video.
And we sat there.
When eventually we did wander around Toppole, we came upon a man sitting on a step in the sun, surrounded by his cats and dog, cutting pieces of willow in preparation for basket weaving. Angelino was his name, and we got talking, about the place, who lives there, the church service at easter … and basket weaving, for which he uses a combination of willow and olive. (There are piles of olive branches everywhere at the moment as it is the time for pruning). There was something incredibly peaceful about this scene. Angelino pointed to his kitchen garden, and explained that the trees in pink blossom beyond it were apple. He was happy for us to take photos, and, finally, wished us a ‘bella giornata’.
We walked for a little while up the path from Toppole, until we found a spot for a picnic, under some trees with blossom falling like snow.