Sutri is a delightful place. It is quite small, with a population of about 5,000, centred on the old town with its cobbled streets and tiny back alleys. Our accommodation is a few yards off the Piazza del Comune, so it is handy for bars and restaurants but quiet. It is surprising how much noise is generated by the echo of many voices in these squares enclosed by stone buildings, as we discovered in Siena.
With the luxury of a washing machine in this well renovated and equipped apartment our clothes are smelling much sweeter! It becomes impossible to get sweaty shirts properly clean by repeated hand washing, we have discovered. Although breakfast is provided we decided to go out for more coffee and cake at one of the cafes in the square. Today the tourist office opened as advertised (it didn’t open at all yesterday), albeit late, and we were able to get our pilgrim passports stamped. As there was a barber/hairdresser’s shop adjacent Tom decided to get a haircut. He is now concerned about whether his hat will stay on with so little hair left! The hairdresser took off a lot more hair than Julie usually does – one of the consequences of insufficient Italian to explain what was wanted. Julie says I look like a thug!
All chores done we wandered down the street to look at the duomo. It is originally late 12th century romanesque in style, with 18th century changes so that it now looks baroque. The crypt gives some sense of the earlier simpler building, whereas the main church is heavily ornate. We were surprised at how large the church is for the relatively small size of Sutri, but of course times have changed: Sutri was more important to former popes in the struggles for supremacy over the wealthy nobility than it is today.
After a short rest we returned to the Piazza del Comune and turned off into an adjacent street to find a butcher’s shop selling platters of cold meats and cheeses for lunch with a nice glass of white wine. Excellent! When we left Tom was also able to buy a filled roll for his lunch tomorrow.
Another caffe latte sitting in the sun at a different cafe on the square and we were ready for a siesta. Unfortunately all this activity left too little time to visit the amphitheatre for which Sutri is famous as it closes at 4pm in the winter. Julie may go there tomorrow as it is adjacent to the bus stop and she will not be able to check into our accommodation until later in the afternoon. Meanwhile, she is applying repeated icepacks to her poorly knee as we have the additional luxury of a freezer as well as a washing machine.