To lift my spirits I decided to go with school to San Gimangnano on Wednesday, I had been there once before in 2003 and remembered it being a great little hill town.
I walked across the same old streets and marveled at all the towers, 12 in total.
First we had some lunch, then a walk around the town and lots of photos, and some famous gelato. This particular gelatoria is famous for inventing a flavor called “Santa Fina,” which is a cream base with roasted pine nuts and saffron. It was unlike anything I’ve ever had, and very delicious, certo.
Then there were some great views, a group photo, and window-shopping. There was one shop in particular that I remembered from my last visit, it was still there and looked the same, filled with gorgeous kitchen gadgets carved from olive wood.
Orazio led us through the town and up to a yet another wonderful spot for photos. On the way out of San Gimagnano we stopped to pet a local dog in the square and do our best to chat with some of the locals. In every town in Tuscany there is a group of two or more people, usually elderly, who have a spot they sit and chat. The verb in Italian is one of my favorites: ‘Chiacchierare’ (to gossip, to chat). This is also one of my favorite pictures yet:
Next we drove to a little town nearby called Monteriggioni, which was also on a hill with a tall old city wall surrounding it. It was tiny, a few charming restaurants, a shoe/leather factory, and a giant water chestnut tree. Taka saw me starring at it and was kind enough to grab me one, although I had no idea what to do with it.
Then it was back home to SGV to finish homework and rest up. That night I had one of those fabulous dinners; when you have all the right ingredients for what your craving and the time and patience to make something great. I made steak with asparagus tips with big chunks of roasted garlic and enjoyed a glass of chianti and an episode of the Tudors along with it.