On water

Here at Bellaugello Gay Guest House in Umbria it has been raining of late.  I have mixed feelings about rain; on the one hand I am sorry for the guys staying as they dodge the narrow streets of Umbria’s delightful historic hill top towns umbrellas clashing with umbrellas, whilst on the other hand the water is certainly needed, both for my garden, and more importantly for my neighbour’s animals. Plants are visibly greener and refreshed, thankful for the new rains, fields in the valley below Bellaugello are daily turning from earth to vibrant green and my newly sown lawns are beginning to look good.

Today is another day of big bold billowy grey cumulus slowly drifting up from the south west, there are intermittent patches of blue, enough as in the old English saying “to make a pair of tar’s trousers’, for those who are not familiar with the word ‘tar’ it refers to a sailor in the days of olde when wooden sailing ships were tarred to keep them watertight, trousers were blue, think Jean Paul Gaultier… it is a phrase I have always rather liked,  so positive, and yes, the blue patches are getting larger.  Anyway back to today and water.  I stumbled across some photos and thought to continue the water theme by posting some photos of the ancient Roman terme – hot water springs at San Casciano in southern Toscana.

Of course you can go ‘smart’ there is a large glitzy spa resort in San Casciano, a rather less glitzy but still chic resort where we go in nearby San Rapalano, indoor and outdoor pools and decent restaurant, however my terme of choice is these ancient Roman baths on the roadside below the utterly delightful small town of San Casciano.  Both San Casciano and Rapalano Terme are within two hours driving time from Bellaugello.

The water is hot, not overly sulphurous, and as the sun goes down and the stars begin to appear the ancient pools become quite magical.  The hot water bubbles from a spring on the other side of the dirt road and enters the first of three baths. As you see from the photos there is no changing room, no café, no bar or piped music, only a couple of benches, one lightbulb and the sky.  Sometimes there are several other people, sometimes few, if you are lucky you can sometimes have the place to yourselves……..