Under the Tuscan Sun

Trip Start Apr 26, 2009
1
8
16
Trip End May 12, 2009


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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Sunday, May 3, 2009

Okay, back up to last night's dinner at da il Latini...our hotel got us a reservation at 7:30 for the first seating. When we came around the corner to the restaurant there was a mob of people standing in the door in no particular order crowding their way towards the entrance. We joined them and waited for the stampede when the doors were opened. They finally opened the doors and people were shouting out there names or the size of their party, and the maitre de was grabbing people at random allowing them in to the restaurant. Almost they like the red velvet ropes in an NYC night club...somehow we made it in the door and were seated at a table for six with a couple from Milan, and another couple from NYC. We made fast friends. Each table had huge jugs of red wine and a waiter that shouted out the choices for the evening... I decided against the wild boar and ordered a small 1 kilo steak...I have to learn the metric system as the steak they brought was just over 2 lbs.! Dinner was a great experience thanks to Terrell & Amy...

John ran this morning along the river and we then grabbed breakfast at our hotel and drove towards Sienna. Stopping in a little town called San Gimignano (think Filet Migon). It is one of the Italian hilltop Feudal towns that is surrounded by a wall and has remained much as it was during the 1300's. It is surrounded by grape & olive vineyards and you have to park outside of town and walk in thru the gates. John dropped me at the top as the walk from the parking lot was about a mile (what a guy!).

Entering San Gimignano is like crossing a moat and coming thru a fortress wall that surrounds a 1350 village. Only difference is that the shopping is a lot better now! We checked out the local Tuscan Pottery, wine, cheese, and locally produced items in the village shops...Interesting a lot of kitchen items were made of olive wood and it smelled magnificent! We stopped to eat at a pizza brasserie sharing a salad and mushroom risotto...our table had a panoramic view of the Tuscan countryside and the hillside vineyards...Spectacular!

We then drove to Sienna...got a little lost...and finally arrived there around 2:00pm. Like the first stop, you park and walk into Sienna (at least the old town area). It is a little medieval town that is centered on a local Duomo and an area they call "Il Campo" (The Field). The town itself is divided into 17 neighborhoods with each one represented by a colorful crested flag and mascot (some examples are Goose, Unicorn & Dragon...all in Italian, of course!). Over the course of the year they compete in multiple events...hood vs. hood...with the largest competition coming in August in a large horse race in "Il Campo". It seems to be a lot of sprit in the competition. Today each hood had a "drum corps" with two flag barriers and a drummer beating their fight song marching towards "Il Campo". Not sure how anyone won the competition, but it was heated! The Duomo in Sienna has original sculptures by Bernini, Raphael and even Michelangelo...Bella!
We ended our day in il Campo eating gelato...Bella again!

Left and drove back to Firenza on the Autostrada (the Italian version of Germany's Autobahn) and everyone drives really FAST (Faster than me, Gari!). Turned our rental car in and had dinner at a place call Baronicelli's...great food and more good wine...at least John thought so!...Just another day under the Tuscan Sun!
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Comments

garikd
garikd on

so much fun!
This is the greatest idea - reading about your trip makes it almost as much fun as being with you! It's really funny that you had to go overseas to find people who drive faster than you....The food sounds amazing - worth the trip - always makes me hungry! Gotta go - getting a gelato!
Gari

kjholland
kjholland on

Jan,
Thank you so much for the great memories you are bringing me by reading your blogs. Keep having fun and enjoying Italy for all of us who read your day's adventures! Love and miss you! Kathy

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