Friday, April 26, 2013


San Gimignano is a small walled medieval town in Tuscany known as “The Town of Fine Towers”, and I have to agree.  The town, with its tower houses and hilltop setting makes a pretty unforgettable skyline.

I took a bus here, on my own, for 14 euros versus around 45 euros for the cheapest tour.  The bus dropped us at this entrance to the town.  

The main street is lined with shops selling beautiful Tuscan wares.  

This torture museum just didn’t seem to fit the setting.  (And no, I didn’t pay good euros to see the methods used to torture people in the Middle Ages.)

There was an interesting display of contemporary sculpture in an art gallery.  These wire sculptures were really fine.

I wandered around town for an hour or so just taking in the beauty of the Romanesque and Gothic architecture and tasting some wonderful gelato from a world award winning gelateria in the main piazza.  You don’t often see raspberry with rosemary as a flavor selection.  

This town is incredibly well preserved.  The Italians have a real reverence for the past.

The photo ops here are endless.

There were arches all around the town and some were decorated with frescoes.

I took a tour through the Palazzo Comunale, where I saw frescoes from the 14th and 15th centuries.  I think about half of them were of Madonna and Child.  

I could have climbed the 200 plus steps of the tower above the Palazzo, but it took me all of about 5 seconds to decide that I really wasn’t up for it (pun intended).  

Since I was already on a hilltop, I was satisfied with the views I had from the second floor balcony.

It was a beautiful sunny day, and frankly, I wasn’t in the mood to see the inside of yet another church.  So after a lunch of pici (a Tuscan pasta that’s like fat spaghetti) in a delicious sauce of garlic, olive oil, and pecorino, I wandered down a gravel road into the countryside.  There, I sat in the high grass of the roadside bank and called my mother, who I knew would love to be sitting beside me enjoying the incredible beauty of these rolling Tuscan hills.  

This was my view of the town, Mom, while we were talking.  

And the surrounding countryside.  I love being in the Tuscan hills.  I can understand how France Mayes of Under the Tuscan Sun fame fell in love with these beautiful scapes.

If you’ve seen Tea with Mussolini, this is the town where American and English expatriate women saved the frescoes in the Duomo from being destroyed by the retreating Germans.  

Una bella giornata!

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