Monday, October 8, 2012

San Gimignano....Sept 29-Oct 1

After Ieaving Monsummano Terme, my next stop was San Gimignano! A charming little village that is filled with day trippers during the morning and afternoon, but once the last bus leaves, it's truly enchanting at night. It's a tuscan hill town with 14 medieval towers still standing....originally there were 72. The town's walls were built in the 13th century. The story goes that each family or dominance would build a really tall tower and then the next guy would come along and say his family was better and build another tower that was larger. I was having coffee with the priest after mass that Sunday morning and he was telling me all of this. I explained to him that back in Texas, we call that keeping up with the Jones'!! Then that conversation took forever to explain to him. Would have loved to have recording of our cappucino talk!!
After the sweet owner of my last piece of heaven at San Bastiano actually drove me over, himself, to San Gimignano because the cab driver was trying to rip me off big time.....and believe me there were NO buses that went up into that mountain.....we arrived in the village about 12:30. It was a one hour and 40 min drive....very nice of him to do that. Will definitely be writing a review on trip advisor about them!! I'm not even going to try to tell you about driving within the walls of these villages. Only cabs or emergency vehicles allowed inside. Just visualize your worst drive in mexico.....then multiply by 100! So yes.....the princess did find her pea! After my last stay, this one was's just ordinary! But the bed was fine and since I'm barely in the rooms I stay in....cest la vie!! First stop, of course, was lunch! Hit the back streets and found a perfect lil outdoor cafe. Notice the restaurant on the other side of street with lots of people? Not where I ate! that place was pretty hefty in price. I ate where no one was and it was deliciouso and cost me 4 euros for a plate of fresh mushroom pasta!! Slowly, but surely, I'm learning the tricks of traveling, cap'n!!

Notice I'm now in Tuscany, which has a completely facade to the landscape. In the coastal areas, the colors were bold.....oranges, yellows, reds, pinks.....but the farther you get into the tuscan hills, the towns are all browns and sandstone colors. I wish I had gotten someone to take my pic in this street because I remember on an earlier post on this blog, I posted a pic of a street and said..."soon, I'll be in a street like this"! But notice the difference in the structures of the buildings here. You can see a shot of 9 of the towers here.

Next morning, it's time to explore. Went to the churches and a few of the museums. And my a** was on top of most of those 14 towers! I know I went to the top of at least 8. Talk about a calf workout.....but climbing all those steps? Afraid my pilates didn't prepare my knees for that! But beautiful views from above.
  I have to say that my most favorite site, tho, was walking thru one of the many archways to the outside of town.....around a bend of buildings...turn one more corner and voila!!! This view jumped right into my arms!! Tuscany at its finest......just like the postcards!! A few more steps and I found this little bench to sit and admire the jewels of the tuscan hills! Kinda puts everything into perspective, ya know?
Then back down and around to another tower where I found this artist.....that's his face thru the sculpture and then up close. The little girl just could not stop herself from cute. Talk about cute? coming around another corner, I come across this! And all I could see in my head was our sweet Lilli and lil Austin, one day, reading to each other!! The families here really make one miss family at home....Big Time! This man was making all sorts of things from weaving his own wool....just so happened to have slippers for little bitty feet....even some for little bitty feet that aren't even born yet!!!

Lunch the next day? in a perfect spot waaaaaay away from the tourists. which is funny, cuz that's what I am too!!!! Delicious soup......they thicken their soups with bread, which makes it even more caloric and fabulous that just plain ol' soup! and this was my view!
More walking....more shopping!! and then I come across the mother of all wine shops!  Lisa....hold your heart...every single bottle was labeled with vineyard and date it was bottled! Not to mention all the fresh deli meats and cheeses!
Every little home has a terrace or patio that looks out over something like this!

and ya'll know I love ya when I put my own pic up that looks as horrible as this one, but I HAVE to have some proof that I really was there!  the next pics of me are better....promise!
Ciao San Gimignano!!  Had the best time learning your culture and exploring your towers!!
Next???  A bus ride....a train ride....and a long walk into Assisi!!


  1. Would have loved to hear the convo between you and the priest! hahaha!!! and yay pics! They are so totally gorgeous! San Gimignano looks like a pretty spectacular place! Can't wait to hear about Asissi! Safe travels! :)