Today we took a sort walk down the streets of Barberino val d’Elsa. The main avenue is a quiet one, called Via Francesco da Barberino. This is October, so there are not so many tourists. And when we arrived, it was during lunch time, so we were nearly alone.
In fact, we were looking for a place for lunch ourselves. Having just arrived into the town without any planning, we should not have been surprised that the few restaurants in town were closed. For anyone who has been here, the L’Archibugeo is very familiar for its world class pizza and scenic outdoor setting.
We weren’t disappointed to find everything closed, as it made things very peaceful. There was a group of artists spread around the walkway by the church, rendering the panorama and the charming city streets in oils.
We entered the church and we alone inside, just the two of us. How nice and trusting it is for the Italian church to leave their doors open to pilgrims like us who only need a few minutes’ refuge and peaceful reflection.
We were drawn to the remains of an ancient bishop who was laid to rest in a glass-enclosed crypt by the altar. This is so common in Italy, to see saints, priests and other holy people on display for us to see. A little reminder of our mortality, and a little bit of authentic Italy right there in front of us.
Italy teaches us so much about life in a way that we would never find anywhere else.