Italy boasts some of the grandest driving attractions anywhere on planet earth. Whilst in one of my favourite regions, the Marche, we drove to Gradara,a famous little town inherent with impressive beauty and the big hook of being linked with a episode of paolo and Francesca,sung by Dante in the Inferno.
The four verses taken from the Divine Comedy allow Gradara to be regarded as "a lovers town". if you have ever read Dante's take on the sin of love, through his pitiful and human eye,you will understand why,for centuries,Paolo and Francesca have represented the height of amorous literature.
As usual i have digressed. The lines of tourists visiting the the castle,move silently,but excitedly ato see the room where the lovers declared their love to each other and the trap-door through which they tried to escape from the revenge of her husband. So cuckold-ness is cool as long as the celebrity- couple declare pure love.... Hmmmmmm.
The fortress is square with turrets on its corners with an impressive polygonal keep,built in the 13th century,it contains an armoury and even a torture chamber. Even if i thought the fortress exceptionally interesting,one cannot but be swooned by the charm of the village,well preserved and surrounded 14th century boundary walls. A wide gate in these walls leads to the Town hall,in which interesting paintings by Raphael's father are displayed.
From the keep of the fortress there is a marvellous view of of the landscape from Taviola valley to Gabicce.
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