A Travellerspoint blog

The beauty of Tuscan towns

Out early at 7.45 am to walk to the Bus station to catch the 8.15am bus to San Gimignano for 6.25 euro. Somehow..we keep doing this...we ended up on the wrong bus and went to Siena! Again, not a biggie, just meant reversing our day. For some reason Mum thought we were going to Siena first and we followed her on to that bus!!!!

It was just over an hour away an through gorgeous Tuscan countryside. The countryside is not dramatically stunning in beauty but so aesthetically pleasing and so Italian…very easy on the eye!!!! Rolling hills covered in pine forests, olive groves, tally skinny cypress trees in rows, fields of wheat and sunflowers, yellow houses with red tiled roves and green shutters nestled on hills and square stone church towers and of course vineyards of big fat purple grapes hanging of the vines in bunches that I could see from the bus….all very lovely and peaceful!!

Sienna is a gothic walled town with a huge scalloped sloping piazza with again a maze of lanes leading to it. Soaring 102 metres above it is a high tower. In July and August all the outside tables and chairs are removed from the perimeter of the piazza for the horse races called the Palio where they ride bareback. Sat at some tables in the square and had a coke and Mum and Nath had coffee.So sick of paying 4 - 5 euros for 1 glass of coke!!!!

We made a mad dash back up to bus area 3 to catch the bus to San Gimignano but had a bit of a wait so grabbed a take away slice of pizza for 1.50 and a can of coke for 1.50 and sat outside on the ground to eat it. Best pizza we have had so far & much cheaper way to buy coke!!!

Caught another bus on to San Gimignano for 5.50 E, again through pretty countryside with some huge castles on hills. This is such cute town and I liked it way more than Siena. It is famous for its towers that were a symbol of the owners wealth back in the 1300's. Back then there were 72 towers and this town had a population of 12,000 within its walls. It was on the pilgrim route to Rome from other parts of Europe and had a lot of trade. After the Black death plague there were only 4,000 people left alive in their town and it was taken over by Florence. Most of the towers were cut down when control was taken and now there are only 13 towers left.

We visited a museum that had replica of the village was it was in the 1300's. It has some beautiful piazzas , one with a huge well. Mum and Dad stayed in hotel overlooking this lovely square in 2007. It was a little spoilt today because markets were set up in both squares which ruined the ambience of the place. It had beautiful lanes and I sat having another gelato enjoying this lovely town.

Back to Florence on the bus arriving back at the hostel around 4.30pm. Have been sitting on my bed catching up only blogs the last few hours, with my windows wide open listening to the sound of Italians excitedly chatting, looking at a pink sky sunset with the moon already out. Dinner in our room again eating leftover biscuits with brie, sliced cheese, vine tomatoes and a panna cotta.......yummy!!!!

Siena

Siena


Sloping Piazza in Sienna

Sloping Piazza in Sienna


Nath & Mum having a coffee

Nath & Mum having a coffee


Lov the big heavy wooden doors

Lov the big heavy wooden doors


A well

A well


Beautiful fruit

Beautiful fruit


Hanging out the washing Italian style

Hanging out the washing Italian style


Streets signs on the buildings

Streets signs on the buildings


Cathedral in Siena

Cathedral in Siena


Another door

Another door


Door with moorish influence

Door with moorish influence


View from San Gimignano

View from San Gimignano


Streets of San Gimignano

Streets of San Gimignano


Three of the towers in San Gimignao

Three of the towers in San Gimignao


City gates and walls

City gates and walls


Countryside from the bus

Countryside from the bus

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Italy

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