Monteriggioni – Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Moteriggioni Siena Tuscany ItalyThe countryside stretching from Florence to Siena is varied, with rolling hills giving way to valleys. This is Chanti, an area known in the World for its wine, landscape and art treasures.

però che, come su la cerchia tonda
Montereggion di torri si corona,
così la proda che ‘l pozzo circonda
torreggiavan di mezza la persona
li orribili giganti, cui minaccia
Giove del cielo ancora quando tuona

Dante Alighieri “Divine Comedy”

Monteriggioni is a medieval walled town, located on a natural hill. In the Middle Ages, the city was strategically placed as a defensive fortification. The roughly circular walls, totalling a length of about 570 metres incorporate 14 towers on square bases set at equidistance and two portals or gates. The main piazza, the Piazza Roma, is dominated by a church with a simple, plain facade.

How to reach Monteriggioni: From Siena take direction Florence and after 12 Km find the sign for Monteriggioni

Distances: Siena 15 Km – Florence 50 Km – Pisa 95 Km – Arezzo 80 Km

Festivals: The Mediaeval Festival – first weekend of July

Monteriggioni Sciena Tuscany Italy

Monteriggioni Sciena Tuscany Italy

Monteriggioni Sciena Tuscany Italy

Monteriggioni Sciena Tuscany Italy

Monteriggioni Sciena Tuscany Italy

Moteriggioni Sciena Tuscany Italy

Monteriggioni Sciena Italy

Monteriggioni Sciena Tuscany Italy

Monteriggioni Sciana Tuscany Italy

Monteriggioni Sciena Tuscany Italy

The story of Capitan Giovannino Zeti

During yet another battle between the provinces at Monteriggioni castle, the Florentines fired cannons which hit a central well and severely damaged the water supplies within the castle.

Capatin Zeti felt torn as he knew no battle could be won when their defences were jeopardised and water was in low stock. His men had vowed to fight to their death in defence of their precious castle but he wasn’t prepared to meet such a fate himself.

He slipped out in disguise that night and headed towards the resting Florentine army camp outside the castle walls to negotiate with their leader. They agreed to give him back his Florentine citizenship and the properties that had been taken from him years ago when he had switched sides if he led some of the army into the castle to attack from the inside. Zeti approved of this plan and led some of the armed troops inside and there they seized control and forced the Sienese army to surrender.

But Captain Zeti was soon to be tormented by his betrayal and was disowned by Siena in disgust; they hated him passionately and wished him dead. He lived the rest of his days haunted by his greedy and cowardly behaviour.

Over the centuries, many people have reported sightings of the ghost of Captain Zeti, crying out his pleas for compassion and understanding of his decision to give Florence control of Monteriggioni castle. His actions seemed to have doomed him forever as he wanders the lands rejected and alone.



Take the Waltz (2011)

Staring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby

This is a movie about the end of love.Take This Waltz

I really liked it and I’m moved. Trying to put my thoughts together to say how it makes me feel.

The characters revolve around each other, examine what happened to them and look at the feelings that grew between them, as if it was something independent of their will and desire.

I know this feeling so well. When you want to leave but you feel you ought to stay. When you know that you are unhappy but you don’t want to hurt the other person.

I liked what one of the reviews said:

At the beginning of this love – new and shiny – clearly reflects the end of another. Therefore, the moment of falling in love that should be ecstatic, is a moment of disappointment. With love, but also with each other and life. You can sort things out so that they live in harmony with each other, but it does not guarantee freedom from suffering and abuse. There is no absolute happiness and objectively good choices. Beautiful turns into ugly, the new converts into the old…

It also made me think that you take yourself into every relationship. At the beginning you might feel, act different but after a while you just come back to yourself. It made me think that nobody can make you happy if you carry your unhappiness inside.

I loved the last scene. It’s just so full of meaning and comforting really.

Some quotes from the movie:

Sometimes I’m… walking along the street and a shaft of sunlight falls in a certain way across the pavement and I just wanna cry. And then a second later, it’s over. I decide because I’m an adult, to not succumb to the momentary melancholy;

I’ve been thinking about that airport fear of yours, of being in between things. I think I kinda hate it too. I know it’s kind of the nature of being alive, but I’d like to avoid it wherever possible. I don’t think I wanna be in between things

In the Land of Women (2007)

in the land of womenDirector: Jon Kasdan
Writer: Jon Kasdan
Stars: Adam Brody, Kristen Stewart and Meg Ryan

I haven’t been writing about films lately but it doesn’t mean I haven’t watched anything. I will catch up with the reviews in the next few days. This movie was recommended to me by my friend.

I can’t really say I liked it a lot. It was nice but at the same time only nice. Every bit of it is built on cliche’s that are too clear to be interesting and/or authentic.In-the-Land-of-Women

I have a really sick grandmother so I kind of expected the relationship between her and her Grandson to be deeper and more meaningful. Although I love the scene when she lies down in bed in new linen. I have this overall feeling that the emotions weren’t explored deeply. The themes raised in the movie include: recovering from ended realtionship, relationship between granchildren and grandparents in the face of death, relationship between mother and daughter, dealing with breast cancer, friendship/relation between a lot younger man and older woman, small town American high school problems, dealing with husband’s affair and probably a couple more.

I’m not really sure where the title comes from. I didn’t feel like this movie was all about women, they relationships, emotions or feelings. But it’s a pleasant movie to watch anyway.

Into the Mind – Sherpas Cinema

I just saw a fantastic trailer which I want to share with you:

I haven’t seen the whole movie. I’m a bit scared it won’t be this good as I’m used to trailers spoiling the movie experience for me. I’m still gonna give it a try.

This is what the authors say about the movie:


Blur the lines between dream state and reality, as you perceive the world through the minds of many. Into the Mind contemplates the experiences passed between mentors and peers to paint a philosophical portrait of human kind. What drives us to overcome challenge? How do we justify risk? What forces are at the core of a mountain addiction? Unique athlete segments over a multitude of mountain sport genres, depict the connectivity of Earth and window into never seen before moments. Explore how we begin our perception of self, construct the foundations of confidence, and are ultimately led to the path of self-actualization.


Gigola posterDirector: Laure Charpentier
Stars: Marisa Berenson, Lou Doillon, Marie Kremer and Eduardo Noriega

Based on Laure Charpentier’s book, film shows the night life of Paris in 60’s. The main character is a female gigolo. A female escort for women but also a pimp. It introduced me to a lesbian world of prostitution. I haven’t even been aware that something like this existed. I guess I’m pretty unaware in general of sexual history of nations. I started to read The History of Sexuality but it was a bit difficult in English so I didn’t go very far. I guess I should get a Polish copy.Gigola

Back to the movie. It made me ask myself a couple of questions. First of all is there any difference between female pimp and male one. This film left me with a feeling that the difference in male and female sensitivity makes a difference but after consideration I believe the director might want to convince us there is none. In the end Gigola hits and abuses her “proteges”. Maybe it’s just the way it was filmed that I didn’t percieve it as brutally agressive.

Another observation is that women know how to satisfy other women needs and it can be purely mechanic.

Poor is the man
Whose pleasures depend
On the permission of another

(Madonna Justify my love)

I love her suits. Well tailored. It brings to mind the one Madonna wears in Me against the music. I hope one day I can spoil myself and get one of those.

Overall I think the movie didn’t make me very emotionally involved. I think it just lacks the creditability. I feel the main character was supposed to be torned inside. The big love didn’t seem so big. The problem of seduction of underage, family destroyed by gambling and prostitution skin deep. Even the abandoning of a child… Well what was the most sad that I didn’t feel the reason why she couldn’t change her life. In some movies you get the sense of predomination of one desires over racionality here it seemed like there was 50% chance that she will choose either.

I like the pictures of Paris. Especially the shot of Moulin Rouge. And Lou Doillon just has this undeniable charm. So watch it, but don’t expect too much.

Private fears in public places – Coeurs

private fears in public placesDirected by Alain Resnais, staring Sabine Azéma, Isabelle Carré, Lambert Wilson and Laura Morante.

I watched it because of Isabelle Carre after seing her in Romantics Anonymous. I have to say I liked that romantic comedy far better than Coeurs. For one thing I didn’t really get into the movie on the second I still don’t really know what the author wanted to say.coeurs

If you ask me it’s a movie about lonelines and people hidden faces. Quite sad. The only thing I really like about it is the snow present almost in every scene. It makes the movie magical.

French Gigolo – Cliente

Directed by: Josiane Balasko
Stars: Nathalie Baye, Eric Caravaca and Isabelle Carré

Well don’t know what to say really. I enjoyed the movie. It’s not very deep or sensual. french gigoloIt shows the reality of dealing with financial issues in what seems an easy way. The things we do for money or maybe rather for what money can buy. It also shows that you can’t avoid/cheat feelings even if you justify your actions logically. I’ve seen better movies dealing with this fenomena nontheless I don’t have a sense I wasted my time watching this movie. And I love Judith dress.

He loves me. He loves me not. À la folie… pas du tout

He_Loves_Me_He_Loves_Me_NotBrrr terrible idea how to destroy somebody’s life. I won’t say no more – not to spoil it for you.I didn’t read any reviews and I recommend you do the same. It just shows you how we let our predjudice and stereotypes influence our judgement.

Director: Laetitia Colombani
Stars: Audrey Tautou, Samuel Le Bihan and Isabelle Carré

I think Audrey Tatou is magnificent in this role.

Romantics Anonymous – Les émotifs anonymes

Romantics Anonymous chocolate

It was just what I needed last night. Charming romantic comedy. French.

Directed by Jean-Pierre Améris
Stars: Benoît Poelvoorde, Isabelle Carré and Lorella Cravotta

The new flavours of the chocolate include: paprika ganache, green tea whites, fresh mint with cashews, porcini tuiles. I love the language they use talking about chocolate (especially in French). Those scenes are very sensual as eating chocolate is.

solidarnosc-wisnie-w-likierze-203g-FullRecently I have a craving on Cherries in Liquier from Solidarnosc (Polish chocolate producer) they have more alcohol that other and very nice dark chocolate.

Of course there is more to this movie than chocolate. It talks about taking risk, overcoming fear, support groups and that love is for everyone with this specific French sense of humour. Enjoy.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and The Secret Fan

The world is always changing. Every day it’s changing. Everything in life is changing. We have to look inside ourselves to find what stays the same, such as loyalty, our shared history and love for each other. In them, the truth of the past lives on.

Deeply touched

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Bingbing Li, Gianna Jun, Hugh Jackman and Vivian Wu