Italy Spring 2009! travel blog

On the way to San Gimignano

Past vineyards

...and country homes

fields of poppies

to San Gimignano's cistern in the town square

On to Monteriggioni... another medieval village

It was the call of the cookoo which I awoke to this morning. Our breakfast on the terrace was relaxing and the sky without a cloud.

Hike # 2

Our hike completely circumnavigated San Gimignano, along the ridges of the Tuscan hills, edges of olive groves, and past acres of vines. There was a gentle breeze and many opportuities to photograph this medieval town of 7 000, and its 8 tall towers. We constantly hear, " No tower, no power" from our guide. Years gone by San Gimignano boasted 58! After approximately 2 1/2 - 3 hours of walking we entred the walls of San Gimignano around noon. Going our separate ways allowed time to shop and visit with many artists. Artists were painting, creating jewellery, and sculpting clay works in their studios.

Today, I learned that Pinocchio was created only 10 kms away, in the village of Collida (sp?). He is obvious in a variety of shops in a range of toys, tools, and clothing. I also saw beautiful illustrated books by Chiostri, but non in English.

Our group met at 2:30, to continue our walking around the outside wall. There were several small residences with gardens of potatoes in blossom, onions, tomatoes, artichokes, and beans. Chickens, too, were in pens in some of the blocks.

At 4:00'ish we were picked up and driven another 10 kms to Monteriggioni. This medieval town is very small, and the only one left in Tuscany with its original wall still intact. A few little shops where crafts persons still made goods by hand were open. For example there was a leather shop where stylish shoes and handbags were crafted. However, what struck me was this is still the home village to many. Windows above the narrow street were adorned with lacey curtains and colourful flower boxes. Ladies were chatting from their open windows to others across the street, and men were gathered at the cistern for a visit and a smoke.

After visiting Monteriggioni our transport returned us to Casalta, and then later to Castellina in Chianti at 7:15 for dinner at a pizzaria.

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