Thursday, September 22, 2011


San Gimignano
After a beautiful bus ride through the rolling countryside and vineyards of Tuscany, we made our first stop at San Gimignano in Siena Tuscany.  The town is part of the World Heritage sites with it's rich history, art and culture dating back to the 10th century.  The stone gated community has narrow cobblestone walkways with tall stone buildings.  San Gimignano fought against its sister town, Volterra, back in the Middle Ages and overcame it with wealth and prosperity and broke away with its own churches.

This town was full of little wine, cheese and specialty shops.  Definitely my type of  place! 

We ate a traditional Tuscan lunch at a farmhouse overlooking San Gimignano and Tuscany's rolling countryside.  It was all you can eat italian food and wine... what more could you ask for?  The whole tour group got to sit at communal picnic tables on the patio.  I could not get over how beautiful the scenery was.  It literally looked like a painting.
San Gimignano on top of the hill in the background.
Amy and I drinking wine with our first course... penne pasta 
Lo and Caitlin enjoying dessert... homemade flakey cookies and chocolate moose. 
Table white and red wine made from the farmhouse's own vineyard along with meats and cheeses.  Oh, we also we able to try their own olive oil... delicious!
Beautiful ladies! 

A couple relaxing and enjoying the scenery under a tree. 
The patio we ate lunch on at the farmhouse.  Can I eat here everyday?
Our last stop in Tuscany was Volterra.  For you Twilight lovers, YES, it's the city from the book.  Even though the book and movie are based in Volterra, home of the Volturri, the movie was actually filmed in San Gimignano at their clock tower.  Even today there is hostility between the two towns stemming back from the Middle Ages.  Volterra is also known for it's arts, culture and history.
The clock tower from the scene in the book.  The movie was actually filmed in San Gimignano at their clock tower, but they practically looked about the same.
Volterra's main square
The square in front of the clock tower in Volterra. 

The town was full of high Medieval arches.

Volterra's flag

a cute bread, cheese, and wine store. 

an ancient theater right outside Volterra's walls that was found not too long ago.
Lo and I were obviously way more excited to visit here than Amy and Pooter

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