Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

finally, san gimignano

Posted by Hippobean at 11:30 PM
Still a bit cloudy but forecast said no more rain. We started our hike to San Gimignano along the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. We were confused as we're walking away from San Gimignano. But the hiking trail looped around the hill and would eventually reach San Gimignano. Wide gravel paths past gorgeous Sangiovese vineyards and rural houses with the view of the Gimignano medieval towers always present. The weather was fine and at every turn up and down the path, we got the view of the towers at every angle. Very pleasant hike. snowie took several photos with the towers on the background as we hiked along. very exciting stuffy. A bit of up and down, nothing strenuous until the last part where we had to hike up the hill into town.

Past Porta San Matteo, the narrow via san matteo cobble stoned street up to the main square was lined with shops and restaurants in old brick buildings. So medieval! Passed the arch and we're on the main square with the duomo Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta and the torre grossa next to it. Stunning view. I bought a ticket that covered the church and the tower climb. The inside of the cathedral had voussoirs arcade on both sides of the nave, that were painted alternately in grey and black, creating stripes. first time I've seen arches like these, and behind them, gigantic magnificent frescoes. the main altar had a beautiful stainglass and round stainglass on the sides. the ceiling also had decorated arches and frescoes. This church blew me away with all that beauty. So much beauty but I didnt find it overwhelming. Climbed the torre grossa and the view from the top was glorious in this sunny gorgeous day. you could see all 13 towers and their tops, the square and buildings below, and the surrounding countryside with vineyards and cypresses from this vintage point. Next I did the museum of the tower with wonderful artifacts and paintings. Walked around a bit in the piazza della cisterna and just loved all the brick buildings and everywhere one could see the towers. On my way back, on via del Castello, discovered Osteria del Carcere, a small restaurant with a loft and they had minestrone, so i settled down for a light lunch. The soup was heavenly. Did a bit of shopping and on Via San Matteo, bought an orange leather bag that was backpack style in triangular shape. 39 euros. not bad. Loved it.

Afterwards, we had wine tasting at Sovestro winery for the unique Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine. Too full body for me, but the setting was peaceful surrounded by vineyards. Gorgeous views. We then drove to Monteriggioni, a beautiful fortified hill-top village. It's a very small village with a small church, some shops and of course, I paid to walk the wall which looked very impressed from the outside. Monteriggioni was featured in Dante's Inferno in the Divine Comedy:

As with circling round
Of turrets, Monteriggioni crowns his walls;
E’en thus the shore, encompassing the abyss,
Was turreted with giants, half their length
Uprearing, horrible, whom Jove from heaven
Yet threatens, when his muttering thunder rolls

For dinner I went back to the Osteria Il Re Gallo for the Pappardelle with Wild Boar sauce. Heavenly. Another fantasticly delicious meal. Walking back to our B&B Villa Cristina was in darkness along quiet silent streets. Really loved it. Had a cup of tea with Little Snowie at the front courtyard with an occasional car passing by. Otherwise, total quiet. Love small towns!

San Gimignano photos:

Monteriggioni photos:



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