Afew weeks ago we saw the movie Monuments Men and it got me wondering more about the efforts to save Europe's artistic heritage during WW II. My friend Gail had given me the book Saving Italy for Christmas and I immediately started plowing through it.
In many cases what could be packed up and moved was take north to the Vatican for safe keeping as the allies advanced up the boot of Italy. In Tuscany things were done a bit differently - the decision being to hide the Floretine and Tuscan art in repositories throughout the countryside. As I read about this I had a jolt when I read the name of one of the repositories - Castello di Poppino. During our first visit to Italy we rented an apartment about a five minute walk from the castle.
The crenellated tower seen from our bathroom.
During the later days of WW II in Italy the cellars were lined with paintings and altar pieces removed from churches for safe keeping.
During our tour we had the option of climbing the tower to gaze out over the Tuscan countryside - of course we raced up!
Mom decided to stay down and we got this pic of her hanging out by the well.
and visiting with the Count's cat.
It was at Poppiano that we first learned about Vin Santo - a sweet dessert wine made from drying grapes on racks so that the juice becomes highly concentrated (and sweet).
It was a great tour but had I know about the castle's role in preserving some of the world's great art I would have asked about that as well as sipping the wine!