Italy
San Gimignano

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132 travelers at this place:

  • Day14

    Tuscany

    August 19, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    The weather is amazing as is the location. Truly spoilt in this beautiful place.

    In the morning we went and found a laundry and washed our ever growing bag of dirty clothes, bought some food and then headed off in the car for an adventure.

    We headed to Cecina which is on the coast going through amazing villages and fantastic scenery. Arrived at Cecina and it was not the quiet little town I remembered! Firstly we found an Italian Aldi store which was amazing. Found a couple of beach towels and bits and pieces, then headed down to the beach. Absolutely packed beaches with umbrellas as far as the eye can see.

    We then drove on down the coast to San Vincenzo where we were looking forward to a seafood pasta, but no luck we arrived too late and the kitchen was closed, so we shared a kebab instead!

    On we drove and that’s when the fun began! We only had offline Google maps that had trouble keeping track of where we were. We found a gorgeous village called Rocca Strada which had lots of housed built into the side of the rock with narrow windy streets. Best part was we were the only tourists there!

    On we drove heading for Siena, where we took so many wrong turns and one time ended up going under a bridge that we were supposed to be going over! No we didn’t kill each other but it was getting pretty tense and in the ended we skipped stopping in Siena and we both agreed never again without a online map!

    Drove on and muddled our way back to San Gimi where we stopped finally at a local Pizzeria as Pete was desperate for an Italian pizza and I had seafood risotto to make up for missing out during the day. We were happy to finally be at home and we will remember the adventure of getting lost in Tuscany for years to come! Pete finished the day with Limoncello!
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  • Day13

    Getting to San Gimignano

    August 18, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    So what a drama!! We had paid for a hire car to pick up in Florence from Hertz. After finally finding the office, we waited and waited to be served. Finally we were told to go across the road to pick up the car. Ha ha that was a joke. We wanted to change the driver to me and all of a sudden we were told they would not honour our reservation. So here we were in Florence with no way of getting to our next stop. So I said to Pete, no stress it’s part of the adventure 😂😂😂

    We ended up at Budget, with the same paperwork and within 10 minutes we were on our way with a car. Lesson - don’t hire with Hertz, absolutely no customer care and would not help!

    Anyway we got over that eventually and found our way back to the BnB and picked up our luggage and set off for San Gimi. My favourite place! The driving was pretty good, I just need help remembering my left and right. Pretty important when driving on the other side of the road!

    Our BnB is amazing and we spent some time exploring San Gimi till the heat got to me and also the drive i think. We went back to the BnB with our snacks and had a swim and a yummy dinner. So nice to be in the county side!
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  • Day14

    Piazza della Cisterna, San Gimignano

    December 5, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 5 °C

    As I was awake early this morning I ventured out in the 1 degree temperature to photograph the sunrise. Even though my fingers were frozen and the air was chilly it was worth it to see the glorious colours as the sun rose over the horizon. What a way to start the day.

    With today being one of our coldest days so far we took our time this morning before venturing out. Brad had discovered when he went out to get coffees and breakfast that there were markets set up in the piazzas so we wondered up for a look and did a bit of grocery shopping while we were there. It is fun being amongst the locals.Read more

  • Day14

    Ristorante Bel Soggiorno, San Gimignano

    December 5, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    After a leisurely morning we decided on a later lunch in one of the nice restaurants in town, Ristorante Bel Soggiorno. And it is a beautiful restaurant with its sweeping views of the Tuscan hills. Unfortunately we were not early enough to grab a window seat but with its huge glass windows everyone got to enjoy the view.

    For lunch I had a very delicious risotto with pumpkin and field mushrooms, and Brad had suckling boar with roast potatoes which he absolutely loved. And we shared a very silky panna cotta with strawberries and mint. It was a fabulous lunch and a great way to spend a quiet day in town. We wandered (rolled) back to our room feeling very full and content.
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  • Day14

    San Gimignano

    December 5, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

    After our siesta that we desperately needed, we headed out once more for our last walk around this beautiful town. Surprisingly it doesn’t feel as cold as it is and it was lovely being able to stroll the almost empty streets one last time.

    We had planned on having our last San Gimignano gelato and were very surprised to find our two favourite shops were already shut for the night. We decided to have a gelato from one of the cafes instead and it was nothing like the ‘real’ ones we had previously enjoyed.

    We walked to the town entrance and back, admiring the Christmas lights strung across the lanes and piazzas. It is starting to feel like Christmas and the locals are getting into the spirit of it too. While I love some of the elegant Christmas displays the stuffed wild boar and boar heads dressed in a Santa suits or with added reindeer antlers do give me a giggle. To start with who would think having a stuffed boar as your window display would entice people in, let alone one dressed as Santa. Very funny indeed.
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  • Day13

    San Gimignano 1300

    December 4, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    Now that we have explored and visited the bigger sites in town, today we decided to check out the San Gimignano 1300 museum. Created by Michelangelo and Raffaello Urbino and a team of artisans and historians, San Gimignano 1300 is a large and very detailed miniature reconstruction of medieval San Gimignano made out of ceramics. Based on how the town would have appeared in the year 1300, the city was at the height of its development and the display shows its 72 towers.

    Photographs do not really show the level of detail of this 1:100 scale reproduction. The miniature reproduction is completely made in clay, baked one time and then painted using natural pigments. Over a ton of clay from nearby Montelupo was used to create this work of art. Countless hours of intense historical, architectural and technical research was involved before actual construction could begin, a project that required over 20,000 hours of work by several ceramic artists.

    As stated on their website “ San Gimignano 1300 is a museum, an exhibition, a journey through time, it is art, history, research, it is a magical vision of towers, squares, palaces, of shops, of people, of faith, it is the instinct to do, to build , learning is hard work, it's hard work, it's joy and memories, it's the desire to exalt this incredible medieval city, a living testimony of tradition, culture and civilization.

    San Gimignano 1300 is dedicated to San Gimignano and its inhabitants, to Tuscany, to Unesco, to all its friends in the world and above all to those who always look upwards.”
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  • Day13

    Rocca of Montestaffoli, San Gimignano

    December 4, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    After enjoying a refreshing glass of wine, or two and a delicious bruschetta while watching the world pass by in the Piazza della Cisterna, we made our way to Rocca of Montestaffoli, an old castle situated in Parco della Rocca, just on the edge of the old town. Originally a castle of Lombard Astolfo, and later a Dominican Convent, this fortress was built by the Florentines in 1353 when the town submitted to Florence to protest it from possible attacks by Siena or from internal riots that may have arisen inside the town itself.

    The fortress had a pentagonal base with a perimeter of approximately 280m, with turrets on each corner and passages that linked it to the city walls. It was protected by a front gate and a drawbridge. Today only one of the ancient turrets is still safe and we were able to climb it to take in the views of San Gimingnano from a different angle, and the surrounding countryside. It was a pleasant way to spend our afternoon, strolling around the park and enjoying the views.

    What did surprise me was the random piece of modern art set in what was once another turret. The mixture of modern art amongst the historic buildings is something I enjoy seeing as it seems so out of place but still works. This piece was a bit random and was called Yellow Girl. There are a lot of art galleries in San Gimignano with a lot of them featuring modern abstract art, and I have enjoyed admiring some of these pieces while trying to understand others. It is a town of great juxtaposition.
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  • Day12

    On to Italy

    August 17, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    A full on day of train travel today, with us sadly leaving Nice at 7:40am. Then onto Milan where we ended up have a burger at Burger King as we didn’t have enough time to leave the station for real food! The trains were amazing and we had business class which gave us free snacks and drinks! After a long day on trains we finally arrived in Florence at 5.00pm and had no internet, which meant no Google maps to find our way! Lesson learnt - download map when you have wifi so you can use it offline!, so thank goodness for MacDonalds where you get free wifi eve if you don’t eat there! We downloaded our map and headed off for a 20 minute walk to our BnB which turned out to be lovely once we found it!

    We freshened up and then headed out to explore Florence albeit it briefly and wandered along and found the Ponte De Vecchio in time for the sunset. Found a great place for dinner and the wine was wonderful. Great finish to a tiring day.
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  • Day54

    San Gimignano

    July 8, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    The village of San Gimignano is a must for any serious traveler in Tuscany. It's claim to fame is it's tall towers that can be seen for miles around and from which those living inside it's walls could monitor movements from afar. We stopped for a quick lunch there and an icecream on our way to the Cinque Terra. Here are some photos of our brief visit.Read more

  • Day16

    Onto Venice

    August 21, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    After a lovely breakfast on the terrace we headed off in the car back to Florence to drop off the hire car.it was an easy drive with Google maps until we realised our offline map had sent us to a bridge that was closed! Lucky we had internet so we quickly recalculated and managed to get the car back with incurring any traffic fines, we hope.

    Made it onto our train and had a relaxing couple of hours speeding towards Venice. When we arrived the clever accommodation booker (Pete) had found us a hotel that only had one bridge to climb to reach our hotel. Mind you we had four flights of narrow stairs to make it to our room, but the lovely staff carried our bags for us.

    After a quick refresh we headed out to explore Venice and marvel at the beautiful buildings and canals. We were going to do a go dale ride but 100 euros about $180 made us think twice. Still we found a lovely place to stop for refreshments, but had some pretty average food. We went back for our afternoon siesta which was much needed!

    We decided to stay close to the hotel for dinner and found a lovely little restaurant on a canal. Weather was a bit cooler with quite a bit of wind, but quite refreshing after the previous hot days. Sooooo many tourists it makes it hard to walk the streets during the day but easier at night so we did more wandering until we were well and truly exhausted. More exploring tomorrow.
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San Gimignano

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