Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A brief stop in San Gimignano, Italy

San Gimignano is a small hill town in the province of SienaTuscany region in Italy. It is famous for its picturesque towers recognizable from miles away. It had a magical conglomeration of Roman and Gothic buildings, the traditional brick paved road and the requisite piazza. 
This picture was taken from about 15km away as we were approaching the town and the towers in the distance are clearly visible.
Its preservation of the dozen or so tall tower houses has created an identifiable skyline in the mind of travelers, like any of the other metropolitan city in the world, but it is far from being one. And I'm thankful for the quaintness of this town...

San Gimignano is also very famous for its white wine. These vineyards laid at the foothills of the town as we entered the walled city.
All motor vehicles are prohibited on the main street of the town which leads tourists from a huge fortress gates through to the main piazza and the Gothic towers.
The main street holds all things essential for a tourists heart from pottery to cheese, wine and prosciutto and the ever present Gelato.  

There are a couple of Gelateria in the piazza which are very famous and even named themselves the best gelato place.  Last spring First Lady Michelle Obama visited one of these gelaterias and apparently they named a gelato flavor in her honor.
The news about the best gelato place and of Michelle flavor gripped so many tourists that the queues to place an order were more than an hour long. So sadly we didn't get to try the gelato there but our guide told us that we didn't miss much. Gelato everywhere in Italy is delicious, and no flavor of gelato, that I tried there, gave me any reason to contradict that.
We loved not spending time in one shop waiting for our gelato or just sitting around in the piazza but wandered the main street and adjacent narrow streets, soaking in the architecture, building details that evolved over several centuries.
If I could I'd love to stay in a bed and breakfast here for a week and just absorb the history, art and culture of this place. These buildings have so many stories to tell and the cuisine of the tuscan area fabulous so I was practically in heaven while walking the streets of San Gimignano...

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