Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 14 - San Gimignano and Volterra

Thursday, July 16, 2009

It was a lazy in Castellina di Chianti, checked emails quickly and drove to San Gimignano.

It was market day in San G. and the place was just invaded with people. We arrived at noon and the furthest parking lots had long long  line ups. We headed back down to the lot closest to the city gates and were very lucky. The people who had obviously arrived early in the morning were now leaving and spots became available.

The entire city looked different with hordes of people and markets stalls blanketing the entire square. The market was not very interesting – no local crafts people or artists – mainly clothes and tablecloths....
We did Rick Steve’s walking tour then went to over to the guys selling BBQ chickens to get one for dinner. He told me the chickens would be ready in 15 minutes and I needed a reservation, so I made a reservation.
We walked around and took some pictures then headed back for our chicken. It was chaos! I couldn’t get near the front and everyone was screaming in Italian at the guys that they wanted chickens. One woman just in front of me was demanding a chicken and he said she needed a reservation....I held my hand up and told him I had a reservation! He asked my name, handed me the chicken and the woman beside me was not happy! Too bad....I ran off I went with my chicken! YAYYYY!!!

We headed off for our picnic in Volterra then again took Rick Steve’s walking tour. You can also download some of his tours on your ipod, so you can follow the tour and listen to him along the way. We chose to do it the old fashioned way and read from the guide.
The shops here are filled with Alabaster pieces – from lamps to sculptures. The streets of Volterra are very steep and after walking down to the oldest gate in the city, I was seriously concerned about walking all the way back was hot...but we did and it was fine.

Volterra has a very interesting history and there are fascinating stories about how the locals protected this oldest gate during the Nazi occupation. You can find these stories in the guide books. Volterra also has a very good Etruscan museum.
History is everywhere in these villages and you can choose to visit museums and galleries or simply sit in a square for the afternoon and admire the old buildings and towers – to each his own – there are no rules. We headed back to la Foresta where we had a swim, read a little and ate dinner.  Oh yes...tomorrow is our last day at La Foresta and Lucia is going to make bruschetta and Panzanella and serve her homemade wine from her vineyards. 

We toasted to tomorrow- my pasta lesson with Wilma of “Pasta Fresca” in La Tavernelle, and a very early morning (to catch the early morning light) in Monterrigioni.

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