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    • Day 8

      In Gambassi Terme gestrandet

      May 14, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Heute 12.3 km
      Geplant war eigentlich, nach Pancole zu gehen, also weitere 7 km, aber ich konnte keine freie Unterkunft finden und es ist dort ein Kaff - also zu riskant. Dann halt lieber eine Pilgerherberge auf sicher…Read more

    • Day 86

      69. Etappe-Gambassi Terme-San Gimignano

      September 24, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

      Heute morgen habe ich wieder bis sieben Uhr ausgeschlafen. Habe mir dann noch Gambassi Terme angeschaut und dort Kaffee und Croissant gegessen und bin über einen Weg mit schönem Blick auf die Weinberge gelaufen, meine gestrige Focaccia unter Olivenbäumen gegessen und gemütlich nach San Gimignano geschlendert. Ich verstehe schon, warum dieser Ort so touristisch ist, wahrscheinlich das meist besuchte Dorf in der Toskana-gar nicht aufgrund des Dorfes, Stunden vielmehr wegen des bilderbuchartigen Umlandes-mit Olivenhainen, Zypressen und Weinbergen in kräftigem Grün, ganz so wie man sich die Toskana vorstellt. Es waren nur 14 km heute und ich traf zufällig auf das Fahrrad - Pärchen und verabredete mich zum Mittagessen. Ich trank einen Rosé für 7€, dieser Ort ist einfach sehr touristisch. Und wir gingen Pasta essen, ich hatte Ravioli mit Kartoffeln und Pilzen und Käse und einen Weißwein aus der Region. Hier ist einer der Chianti Gebiete, aber ich hatte keine Lust auf Rotwein.
      San Gimignano fällt sofort durch seine vielen Türme, insgesamt 15, auf und wird deswegen auch die Stadt der Türme genannt. Das besondere hierbei ist, dass diese in ihrer Höhe erhalten sind und nicht gekürzt wurden. Es handelt sich hierbei um die mir schon in Florenz, Lucca und Perugia begegneten Geschlechtertürme, also Türme, die von einflussreichen städtischen Familien zu Repräsentationszwecken erbaut wurden. In Lucca habe ich den Guinigiturm besichtigt, der bekannte Turm mit dem Baum auf dem Dach. In Lucca war es der einzige von einst 250 solcher Türme.
      Die Stadt war im 14. Jh. als Verbindung für Pilger und den Handel nach Rom auf dem Hauptverkehrsweg. Wohlhabend war die Stadt 160 Jahre lang durch den Anbau von Safran, mit dem man Seidestoffe färbte.
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    • Day 74

      Gambassi Terme 15 miles

      September 24, 2023 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

      While putting my socks on this morning I noticed I have been using my feet to clean the mangy floor. Required washing asap. Choice was shower - no good as just an overhead shower head and it seemed silly to shower when only my feet were dirty, bidet - if the floor was that dirty I wasn’t putting anything near that, which left the basin. Despite not being at my Stretch & Mobilise classes for a few months that was no problem. Never mind standing on one leg while brushing your teeth I think I could recommend regular washing your feet in the basin to help maitain your balancing ability. Stephen, you are excused that one, no-one wants to see your hernia yet again.

      It is a sure sign of a tourist trap of a village when I passed numerous restaurants on my way out but not a single useful shop. No food for today. Still it’s only 15 miles so not too much of a problem. I was also out of water but there were fountains apparently somewhere on route.

      Lovely walking today. Tuscany looking good although late in the year so not nearly as green as it would have been earlier. Don’t know what crops were there but they are long gone, leaving brown earth.

      No end of other walkers about. I must have passed at least 15. Almost all in 2’s or more. Not that I am walking faster than them all, I think, I just don’t stop to fidget as much. For example lots of folk need to stop to have a drink. Basic mistake. You really need to be able to take your bottle out of, and back into, your rucksack side pocket while walking, especially if in a group of 3 or 4. No idea where they are all going, or started from, I didn’t say more than hello to any of them. I’m not here to chat. Tomorrow I will start earlier and avoid this nonsense hopefully. At least 3 couples were American judging by their voices. Common factor is they were all just carrying what looked like day bags. They must be using a baggage transfer service.

      Passed a small memorial for the first batch of 150 Swiss troops that rested here on their way to Rome to become the Swiss Guards at the Vatican ever since. It is things like that that are reminders that the Via was the main route North to South for an awful long time.

      Arrived about 2.30pm but couldn’t get into my room until after 3pm. Plenty of time for a welcome ice cream. I asked in the local bar what time they served food tonight and got the reply 8pm. Bit late. No wifi in the b&b and no signal so I needed to head back to the bar to buy some water and use their wifi. It was pay-day at the playgroup and I had work to do. It’s amazing how long a Scot can drag out a bottle of water. While there I noticed that some folk seemed to be ordering food at 6.30pm. I moved fast. It seems that if you want something that they have already prepared, like lasagne, they were happy to heat and serve it straight away but if it needed actual cooking then you would have to wait. Excellent. Ordered and eaten before 7pm. Interestingly it is now about 8pm and there isn’t any sign of any cooking or anyone interested in food. Really don’t understand this country sometimes. Been forced to have a couple of pints while following the rugby and writing this epistle. Better get to bed now rather than hang about which would need another.
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    • Day 23

      Pilgrims Progressed

      September 24, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Sun-screened, shod and hatted our two pilgrims (minus colosseum-blistered Rhonda) set off earlyish as the church bells pealed 11am on the Via Francgenzio. The plan was to follow in the hire car and meet for wine and cheese along the way.

      With most venues closed after summer and being Sunday a mad dash was made to find vituals in the stone village of Gambassi Terme. After an hour of patchy internet and getting lost we finally found where the whole village was lunching, purchasing local goats cheeses, salamis, prosciutto, fresh pané and olives.

      Using our combined google map locations we bumped down dirt roads and, wouldn't you know it, landed at the best winery in the region 😇🥳

      Our parched pilgrims probably should have watered first but accepted the situation with equinimity and entered the tasting with gusto. And what a taste there was Gorgeous Bianco's, Chianti's, stickies and even the Grappa was brought out to Eric's delight.

      With the use of Google translate and lots of arm waving we made new friends and discovered Casaneuvas winery had been in the family since the 1100s and they were really good at parting tasters with their money. Lots of spent euros later we picnicked and prattled and were treated to espresso by our new friends/business partners 🤑😲

      The pilgrimage over we bumped over to our medieval castle like accommodation for a chilly swim and prosecco in the gardens, then wearing our travelling best we dined at the swanky onsite trattoria on boar lasagne, truffle ravioli and tasty pici. Was too excellent to photograph and too slopey due to the old flooring.

      Tomorrow we head on a highway full of lunatic drivers to Milano.

      Ciao Ciao!!
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Sant'Agostino, Q18487395

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