10th June 2012
I was a little sad to say goodbye to my lovely hotel room and Montecatini today. It’s been great to have 5 nights in one place and have little day trips around the region. I doesn’t feel so much like a packaged tour when you’re not moving every day or so. We’re off to Spoletto for two nights with stops at San Gimignano and Siena today.
We drove through some really pretty country on the way to San Gimignano, “Town of Towers”, lots of patchwork paddocks and green hills. I must have thought Europe would be wall to wall towns and cities and it keeps astounding me how, for such a small area, there is so much open country in Italy.
There is a Torture Museum as well as a Death Penalty Museum – maybe we should all be on our best behaviour! There were also quite a few wooden statues of naked men along the street we walked in on, I’m not sure what their significance is but I guess there’s an interesting story in there somewhere – another one for my next visit. I seemed to pack a fair bit in to the short time we spent here although I’m not sure everyone would agree with me.
I had morning tea at a cafe in the main piazza and spotted Andrea throwing a coin in the wishing well – although he wouldn’t own up to making a wish. I meandered around the back streets and found some lovely gardens and interesting old wheels and took photos of course. I bought a dress and t-shirt and some photographic prints of old San Gimignano, had a taste of gelato from “the only gelato shop in the top 10 best gourmet places in the world” and generally just soaked up the quaint atmosphere.
I love how the Italians congregate outside and sit around talking and laughing. I came across a group of older men sitting on assorted old chairs near the main square obviously having their morning chat and watching the world go by. Seeing them made me chuckle, they looked so laid-back and happy.