CHIANCIANO AND MONTEPULCIANO.
Reliquias veterumque vides monumenta virorum.
From Sarteano to Chianciano it is a drive of seven
miles amid glorious scenery. This range of heights, indeed
the whole district of Chiusi, is prodigal in charms—an
earthly paradise. There are so many features of beauty,
that those which are wanting are not missed. Here are
hill and vale, rock and wood, towns and castles on
picturesque heights, broad islet-studded lakes, and ranges
of Alpine snow and sublimity; and if the ocean be want-
ing, it has no unapt substitute in the vast vale or plain of
Chiana—a sea of fertility and luxuriance; while all is
warmed and enriched by the glowing sun of Italy, and
canopied by a vault of that heavenly blue, that
Dolce color d'oriental zaffiro,
which reflects beauty on everything beneath it. It is the
sort of scenery which wins rather than imposes, whose
grandeur lies in its totality, not in particular features,
where sublimity takes you not by storm, but retires into
an element of the beautiful.
Chianciano, like Sarteano, stands on the brow of a hill,
girt with corn, vines and olives—a proud site, lording it
over the wide vale of the Chiana, and the twin lakes of
Chiusi and Montepulciano. It is a neat town of about