Day 7 - afternoon
Back on the bus, the journey continued through country roads before finally arriving at this small medieval town of San Gimignano built on top of a hill. Famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers which could be seen several kilometers outside the town, I was stunned to see its beauty and anxious to explore it!
By reading a sign posted on the high stone fenced wall, I learned that this ancient town of San Gimignano was founded as a small village in the 3rd
century BC, that it flourished until the 14th
century and that it wasn't until the 19th
century that it became known and recognized as a touristic and artistic resort. Interesting facts and here I was today to see it for myself! Yeahhh!
For several hours, Michel and I explored this amazing small town while enjoying the atmosphere of this ancient jewel recognized today as a UNESCO World Heritage area! Many towers dominated the skyline and I could understand why it was considered to be the medieval Manhattan of Italy!
We walked on many stone paved streets where several little shops had been renovated in these ancient buildings selling anything from wine, meat, souvenirs, ceramics and jewelry! Many small terrace cafes with inviting round tables and chairs were set up along these streets looking quite romantic with its colorful decor while being shadowed by the towering buildings. It was quite something to be here and I was enjoying every minute of it!
By following a pathway that led us high above the grounds of this medieval town, the view of Tuscany could be seen for miles away and let me tell you, it looked absolutely stunning with all of its rich colored fields and emerald green cypress trees on this gorgeous sunny day of March 2012!
We treated ourselves to Italy’s famous gelato, Italian name for ice cream. Made with milk, cream, various sugars and flavoring such as fresh fruits and nut purees, it lived up to its name as I ate all of my coconut flavored ice cream cone complete with hazelnuts way up to the last bite not leaving any for Michel! After all, it wasn’t my fault that he’d eaten his within a matter of minutes! Ha, ha, ha! And yes, it was yummy!
It was 4:30pm when we left San Gimignano and the same route as coming here was taking by our driver for our way back to Florence. Now, by sitting on the other side of the bus, I could see different landscapes that I hadn’t before meaning that it was as exciting going back as coming here in the first place.
By listening to our guide, she informed us that those of us who wanted to, we could be dropped off in the touristic section of Florence right along the Arno River! That with the map that she had given us we could easily make our way back to the hotel, a mere half an hour walk from there. Yeahhhh! She didn’t have to convince me twice! Monique :-)