San Gimignano – quintessentially Toscana

 

San GimignanoWhen we were living in Tuscany having visitors arrive was always a treat. The opportunity to show people around “our neck of the woods” was always something we looked forward too. And as an experience of the essential Tuscany, San Gimignano was always a winner.

You may have heard of this village and it’s many towers. Originally it is said that there were up to 40 towers but now only 7 or 8 remain. But even with only a few towers it is still one of the most recognisable villages in the region.

Initially we thought that San Gimignano might be “too touristy” for our friends, but everyone we took there loved it. The walk up the hill from the Porta San Giovanni to the Piazza della Cisterna was always a great introduction, with the multitude of small shops that line the street adding to the feeling that this was the quintessential hilltop village. A drink or lunch in the main piazza was a must with a leisurely stroll down to the Porta San Matteo to follow.

We always seemed to leave with something – linen for the table or fresh pasta or a simple gelato from the award winning store Gelateria di Piazza located in Piazza della Cisterna.

 

 

Tuscany in three and a half days – day two

Gallery

This gallery contains 7 photos.

When thinking about where to take Isabel and Charlie, we decided to focus on the smaller places.  They had already spent some time in Florence before arriving at our place and we felt that most people equated Tuscany with rural … Continue reading

Tuscany in three and a half days

Arch in Monteriggioni overlooking Tuscan countryside

Gentle readers, you may have noticed a brief pause in posts to toscanakiwi.  We have had visitors from home staying at our place and have taken the last few days to show them some of Tuscany.

We have revisited some places we went with others and explored some places that are new.  Old favourites like San Gimignano have impressed and new places like Monteriggioni have surprised.

Autumn is an ideal time to sightsee as the days are still warm, but not too hot. In summer you sit in the shade at cafes avoiding the sun, but in Autumn you sit in the sun and savour the last of the good weather.

Pictures and stories of our travels will be added over the next few days.

Visitors

Over the last week or so blog posts have been infrequent – so infrequent that there haven’t been any actually. The reason is simply because we’ve had visitors – from New Zealand and the UK. We have been busy – a complete novelty after 3 months of doing, well, nothing.

In addition to Charmaine, Mike and little James we’ve had Danny Malone a mate from KiwiRail arrive on his latest European trip and Gill, Andre and Josh and Jordan jet in from the UK.

In the last few days we’ve been sightseeing in Pisa, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Volterra. We’ve eaten out in cafe’s, our local pizza restaurant and a restaurant with a carpark that turns into seating at night. We’ve laid by the pool, we’ve made a dent in the national stock levels of Chianti and Birra and generally had a great time.

A mixed assortment of pictures follow.