I had planned to do nothing today except a few errands, but once I completed those, and it wasn’t even 10am, I opted to go to San Gimignano. It was another gorgeous day, and my feet don’t hurt as much as they did after walking in Firenze all day yesterday. Rain is expected tomorrow, so today seems like a good day for visiting San Gimignano.
I am becoming very familiar with Piazza Gramsci, which is the place from which all the buses depart, and only a short walk from my hotel. I guess I am blending in well because once again, an Italian signora asked me for directions. It seems to happen every day, and I am beginning to feel like I am a native Italian.
San Gimignano is a walled medieval town that you can see high on a hilltop from a distance, and it is very much preserved. Originally there were 72 towers and today only 14 remain. Its walls date back to the 13th century and some of the cobblestoned streets and piazzas go back to the ninth century.
I enjoyed walking through this very charming town, which was touristy, yet not crowded. It was a welcome change of pace from the busy although beautiful city of Florence. The town is small enough that I wandered around without a map, discovering new views around each corner. Certainly this place is a photographers’s dream.
Of course the streets are steeply inclined but I found the one which led me to the high point of Rocca e Parco Montestaffoli. This was a beautiful hilltop park with olive trees and wildflowers, and a very serene peaceful place. On the other side at the top, I had a panoramic view of the Tuscan countryside, which could take your breath away!
I found a lot of really nice shops lining the streets and the prices were very reasonable. In fact I had to buy a few things, but after my shopping adventure in Florence yesterday, I had planned on another trip to the post office anyway.
After hearing so much about San Gimignano, it even exceeded my expectations. I am so glad that I was able to be here!