. Carol has noodles with different seafood in it and from her sounds and expressions it is a life changing event for her. I have tried pizza twice in Italy and been dissapointed both times, but the pizza here was excellent. We spend half the afternoon walking the steep streets, looking in the shops selling leather goods, jewelry, ceramics, tourist stuff, and every day products for a living city too. Real people live here, hanging their laundry out their windows, going shopping, and just sitting on benches in the sun. Several groups of art students of all ages are perched on steps near the square, drawing the buildings. Even the small children are very good. The city, reputed to be the best preserved medeival city in the world was built in the early 1300's and we just fell in love with it. Our favorite town in our favorite part of Europe so far.
We left Pisa about noon and took back roads to San Gimignano through the Tuscan countryside. That's not really optional because San G is a ways off in the boonies. The drive was everything you have seen in movies and travelogues about Tuscany and more. Rolling hills emerald green with those funny trees that look like overgrown arborvitae, orchards of olive trees, acres and acres of grape vines, and the traditional country villas on every hill top. After about thirty miles of this, San G rose into our vision. It's spires stand out on the horizon, looming over the picturesque hills. Parking is close to the gates and secure in a locked lot and the short walk along the city walls brings you to the portal. Streets are not too narrow,and people are walking the cobblestones, but you don't feel crowded. Lining the lanes are the original shops from medieval days retro fitted for power/water. Restaurants smell tantalizing and we stop for lunch at a small one with outdoor seating in the warm sun