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Thursday 27 July

Hot, hot, hot. 10:13 and just got on the southwards train; this time to Foligno, then change to Perugia, then change to the FCU to Deruta (Stazione): the walk to Deruta will be hot (hot, hot). The giornalaio at the station, from whom one camera battery 23500₤, attributes this to humid air from Africa.

Returning to yesterday: my anticipated visit, very very brief, of both Cantiano — a lovely small town — and Cagli, not bad either, served as confirmation of my plans to cover the Scheggia-Fossombrone stretch of the Flaminia in very small stages: from Scheggia to Cantiano, one day; to Cagli, another; to Acqualagna; to Fossombrone. In addition to all the bridges (there are two, or one and a half at least, at Pontericcioli: one more than I knew about, they're still digging) which are not necessarily on the road I'll be hiking, there is scenery to soak up, and a number of churches, and a museum in Cagli that actually opens five days a week. As a result, I'm planning my walk — relatively shaded at either end of the day, since one long N-pointing gorge, and downhill from the Valico di Scheggia at 683 m — for Monday thru Thursday of the week immediately after the expiration of my train pass to Rome August 2. Friday will be a bus and train day to get me back to Fossato from Fossombrone, which will prolly require going thru Fano, allowing me to give the place a fairer shake than last time, and to photograph the Basilica of Vitruvius: i.e. the decrepit candidates aboveground for its underground location.

[image ALT: A large vertical abstract oil painting. It is a work of Oscar Piattella in the parish church of Cantiano, Marche (central Italy).]
But yesterday with Andrea, our pit stop in Cantiano was limited to a Campari and soda at a bar he likes, and a brief visit to the parish church mostly so I could see something which in all likelihood I would have passed by: an extremely rare instance of a purely abstract painting in a consecrated church. By Oscar Piattella, who doubles as Cantiano's pharmacist (and whose garden boasts a 700‑year‑old yew, bringing very much to mind the double meaning of φαρμακον!) but is in fact rather well-known regionally as a painter, it's a blue and deep rust-colored composition which I can actually remember clearly, and which I liked; very unusual for me. It's over the altar, a consecrated altar, in an otherwise also rather handsome chapel S of the main altar.

Cagli — Roman bridges whizzing by in all this, a blur in the two twining roads down the valley — is larger and produces an effect of city, although it can't be more than 3000 people. Still, it has at least two hotels, one of which in town, and an actual bus depot (the line: Pesaro-Fossombrone-Cagli-Cantiano); and, very curiously since the area for miles around produces no wine, two enoteche. These seemed to have been the real purpose of our stop here; Andrea bought wine for our lunch — game plan was to have lunch with his wife back in Costacciaro — and I took advantage of the stop and my being driven back home later in the day, to buy a couple of good bottles instead of the gros rouge now down to half in the fridge.

But then Andrea's wife — fonino — not so very keen on having us for lunch, preferring to feed us herself in the evening rather than leaving it up to an employee, in this case, if I understood, an Ecuadorian cook; so we went back to Cantiano and ate at the Ristorante Tenetra. It's a good place to eat, and I'm looking forward to going back and doing the place justice with a full meal rather than just the bruschetta alla pancetta and ravioli al limone e ai gamberi, both of which were very good; a rosso di Montefalco, Frescobaldi, OK but not Caprai or Adanti.

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