One of the nice things about singing in a choir is that, apart from socialising with affable people, one gets the chance to travel around. Most of this travel is in the Garfagnana and Lucchesia but yesterday we got the opportunity to travel to Suvereto in the south-west part of Tuscany.
The weather was absolutely perfect with a high pressure area and true-blue sky. Our road went tantalisingly near the coast before turning into the hill town of Suvereto. Many of us felt like hijacking the coach and taking to the beach instead of singing in a church.
However, the town turned out to be an absolutely delightful place. First, we stopped at the parish church of San Giusto just outside the main gate. The church is an atmospheric Romanesque building dating from the eleventh century with some marvellous features. The acoustics lent themselves excellently to our singing.
As we were early we decided to take a look at the old town which turned out to be most scenic.
The town hall was a solemn arcaded building.
This church celebrates a miracle in which the Virgin saved the town from being flooded. In view of the summer we’ve had perhaps she could be invoked more frequently.
The cloister belonging to the ex-convent of Saint Francis was most picturesque and is not just used for hanging out one’s washing but also to present a lively festival of events in the summer.
We could have gone on to visit the castle at the top of town and even the doll’s museum but duty called and we returned to San Giusto.
I think we sang really well. Our choirmaster seemed pleased with us and certainly the congregation was.
After the event we were each presented with a lovely book on the churches of Suvereto and we took some photographs at the top of the church stairs.
Then after a slight wait for the coach to return (actually it wasn’t the same coach since the one that took us to Suvereto had sprung a leak) we headed for our restaurant meal.
Our initial reaction at seeing the appearance of the restaurant was less than favourable. It seemed a somewhat unappealing place. But, as they say in Italy, “L’abito non fa il Monaco” (or in English, “don’t judge a book by its cover”) and the meal presented to our party of thirty-plus was gargantuanly fabulous.
After the antipasto
we had two pasta courses: farfalle with prawn followed by pappardelle with wild boar.
We got a choice of veal or more wild boars for the main course. I chose the boar, served with chestnuts, which is famous in this part of the world and found myself munching through the best example of it I’ve ever eaten.
This course was followed by fried sea food including squid and more prawns all washed down with the excellent Suvereto wine (both white and red)
We managed the dessert, which was fruits of the forest and panna cotta, an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, and ended with coffee and a final tipple of spumante.
After the meal we were homeward bound. The journey back seemed much shorter than the journey to Suvereto and we enjoyed our camaraderie enormously.
I got home just after seven to be greeted by a reception committee of three hungry cats and realised I’d forgotten to take a doggy (or catty?) bag with me.