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Tuscan carbuncles

The beautiful buildings of Tuscany and Umbria are being ruined by architecturally illiterate developers

By Alasdair Palmer   August 2008

Italy is famously the home of great food, glorious art—and lousy politics. I experienced all three a few weeks ago, as some Italian friends took me to see Monticchiello and Porano, two lovely medieval towns, one near Pienza in southern Tuscany, the other just a few minutes’ drive from Orvieto, in Umbria. The fragile beauty of both is now threatened with destruction by speculative building which the relevant political powers have endorsed.

Tuscany and Umbria have so far managed to preserve their beautiful medieval hilltop towns from the kind of disfiguring modern construction which has wrecked most places in Italy south of…

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