Edith Wharton’s Art History Lesson in San Vivaldo

by Don Benson

In a rather remote village in the southern hills of Tuscany is an ancient monastery.  There is a church and eighteen separate free-standing chapels.

We - four American tourists - drove to San Vivaldo, which is one of the most unique religious sites in Italy.

I say, we drove there, but we did not get in.

We went unknowingly on a day not open to visitors. It was closed to us. Over a century earlier, in 1894, Edith Wharton arrived at San Vivaldo and not only got in, she revised the artistic history of the place.

The full story indicated here is a real-life whodunit wi...

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