Under the Tuscan Sun

Florence Travel Blog

 › entry 36 of 151 › view all entries
At the farmhouse. What a view! San Gimignano is in the background on the right.

OK, I know that's the name of a movie, which I failed to see because it was a romance flick, but don't fail to see Tuscany if you are ever in Italy!  I spent Saturday on a tour through Tuscany and it was incredible! 

First stop was Siena, where I spent a few hours strolling the streets.  They had just had their Palio on the 2nd, which is a horserace in the center of town where the city districts compete with one another.  It's a very big deal apparently.  The city is divided into districts and each has an animal that represents it, and your district depends on where you were born and it never changes.  The ducks won the Palio, so you could see some folks from those districts wearing scarves with the colors and pacifiers, to show rebirth.  Many folks recommended going to Siena, but I actually was more excited about the other stops.

View from San Gimignano

After Siena, we went to a farmhouse for lunch, which had breathtaking views.  When I arrived, I thought I had fallen off the earth and into heaven.  We had lunch outside under a veranda, eating pasta and sampling meats, cheeses and wines that they make right there!  I could not believe this place. I wanted to join the family staying there.  They were all hanging out by the pool!  I met some couples not on honeymoons at lunch and an obnoxious New Yorker, but that still couldn't shake my wonderful mood. 

The farmhouse had a view of  San Gimignano, which was our next stop.  It is home to the 2006 World Champion Gelato maker, so I definitely had to try some.  The town is medieval and surrounded by a wall and has 14 towers.

Carolyn and I at Piazza Michelangelo overlooking Florence
I actually like this town more than Siena.  I just strolled the streets and enjoyed being there, still feeling the effects of my wine at lunch.  I also ran into my first squat toilet there, and I even had to pay to use it!

From there onto Pisa for a quick stop and the obligatory picture.  One of my favorite neighborhood bars is called Leaning Tower, so I couldn't help think of home.

It was a long day, but so wonderful. If I ever come back to Italy, Tuscany will be the place to hang for me.

My last day in Florence I checked out the Bargello, home to Donatello's David, which was under restoration, but luckily they are restoring it in full view, so he was laid out under cameras and stuff, making it look like he was being operated on.  There were also some early works by Michelangelo in there, along with some wonderful pocketwatches and a fancy spork from Germany.  I ran into my roommate and we decided to grab lunch with wine. That was the end of that...we spent the rest of the day wine bar hopping around Florence.  It was such a blast!

In a few hours I'm hopping a train to Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre.  I will spend three days just lying on the beach I think, after some walking for sure.  I cannot wait!

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
At the farmhouse.  What a view!  S…
At the farmhouse. What a view! …
View from San Gimignano
View from San Gimignano
Carolyn and I at Piazza Michelange…
Carolyn and I at Piazza Michelang…
View of Siena
View of Siena
Lunchtime
Lunchtime
Dinner with Carolyn...we were feel…
Dinner with Carolyn...we were fee…
Central Square in San Gimignano
Central Square in San Gimignano
Interesting features on a church i…
Interesting features on a church …
San Gimignano Square
San Gimignano Square
Square in Siena where the Palio ta…
Square in Siena where the Palio t…
Another view of Florence
Another view of Florence
Florence
photo by: monky