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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for San Gimignano, Toscana, Italy

Sep 16, 2018 - Stage 23 San Miniato to San Gimignano

More photos to be loaded Overview/ Highlights We had expected a nice descent from our ‘high altitude’ accommodation and then flat for quite awhile, however after a short descent we found ourselves with some pretty steep climbs for the morning. Constantly up and down. Countryside was nice with lots of grapes, olive groves and Tuscany pencil pines. Nice mountain views as we rode along the top of the mountain range. A quiet Sunday morning on the roads. Stopped for coffee and cakes at an outdoor cafe in Gambassi, which was playing loud rock...

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Sep 29, 2017 - Are we really walking in the picture from an Italian soap packet?

Hello from San Gimignano. Yesterday morning we were still in Florence. Staying at the Roma hotel near the main Duomo, the sound of cathedral bells woke us.........just beautiful. We leave the masses, and the soldiers with their machine guns - not liking the idea of being near when they are in action. I fancy a lot of unavoidable carnage. Years ago we just walked into the Uffizi gallery. Today, the queues are 3 hours long just to buy a ticket, then your time inside is limited. That was the same for the Leonardo de Vinci's Last Supper in...

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Jul 7, 2016 - Pisa, San Gimignano

It was a long hot day of traveling. If we were driving, it would have only taken us about 2 1/2 hours to get to San Gimignano plus a one hour or so stop in Pisa. Instead it took us about 6 1/2 hours. We rode three different trains and then a bus to our final destination. It is very hot out and we are tired of dragging our luggage on and off trains. I think we are all a bit on the crabby side today...well at least me! Our train stopped in Pisa, so we took a cab to go see the Leaning Tower. This is not a place I would take a special trip to...

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May 2, 2016 - Bella Tuscany

This week we have buried ourselves in the delights of Tuscany. We have been to this area of Italy several times before, but are always stunned by its beauty, hilltop villages and wonderful food. The wine is not bad either. We have hiked for hours along dirt tracks, been surprised by the remote hilltop settlements, the stunning views and the roads lined with olive trees and vineyards. Ian has cycled a few routes in the area and always comes back sweaty, out of breath and with legs shaking from the massive hill ascents, especially challenging...

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Trip Journal


La Dolce Vita

Apr 28, 2016 - Another hill town, Volterra

After a lazy start this morning, we headed out to drive the 17 miles of curvy road that takes about 45 minutes to drive, but the drive is through the most beautiful scenes you could imagine. Volterra was an Etruscan city centuries before the time of Christ--isn't it amazing to think that at least part of it was there more than 2000 years ago. Volterra's most famous sight is its Etruscan Gate, built in the fourth century B.C. At that time it had a population of about 25,000. Eventually Volterra became part of the Roman Empire, and there are...

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Apr 27, 2016 - A drive through Tuscany's hill towns

Another perfect day has passed, and we have less than a week left to pack in all the memories of this charming country. Today was a very full day. We left our B&B around 11:00 and didn't get back until 8:00. My driver is very tired this evening. You wouldn't believe it if I tried to tell you about all the beautiful scenery we saw and the many steps we climbed to reach the interesting hill towns. So I will let pictures tell about our day.

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Apr 26, 2016 - Exploring Tuscany

We have spent a very lovely day exploring just a small part of Tuscany. We first went to see the Castle of Monterriggioni, built in the 13th century, and the original town walls that we walked upon date from that time. And of course, the scenery as seen from the top of the walls was a beautiful sight. Then we drove on to Siena, where the Old Town is pedestrian only. So we found a parking garage, had lunch in a nearby restaurant, and took a bus to the hilltop where Il Campo, the main square is located. The square and its buildings are the...

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Apr 25, 2016 - San Gimigiano in Tuscany

Here we are up beautiful Tuscany. But first I need to go back to tell you about our last morning in Venice. After such a soggy Sunday (which didn't dampen our spirits), we woke up this morning to blue skies. We had been saying that we were not ready to leave Venice, as there was so much we wanted to see and do. I should have planned for three days there instead of two. But this last morning made the time seem complete. Curtis had emailed that he and Sandra wanted to give me a gondola ride as an early Mother's Day gift. That was quite a...

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Oct 10, 2015 - Rain, rain, go away .....

Rain today, right from the very start. We had a late start today because we wanted to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta in San Gimignano and it only opened at 10am. Maree and I were the first in the ticket office when it opened and also the first into the Basilica. The frescos in the Basilica are simply breathtaking. Even given that many have been restored due to damage in WW2 it is still amazing how detailed these 14th century frescos are. Both walls of the church are lined with multiple 'comic strip' style stories from...

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Oct 9, 2015 - Florence to San Gimignano

The 'strada bianca' stretched out before us as we walked along our first Tuscan section of the Francigena Way. As we walked I imagined the peloton of riders in the annual Tirreno-Adriatico tour racing in a tight bunch on this somewhat uneven gravel surface. I also realised that I might be riding on this very road next year when I do my next bike tour. Hmm! We had left Florence in a hired van at 8:30 and travelled for more than an hour in the direction of Siena until we arrived at the hilltop village of Gambassi. Here we started our...

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May 3, 2015 - Tried to spend the whole day relaxing by the pool...

The farm had a large infinity pool on the property, today was the day we set aside to relax by the blue blue water pool. Towels, sunscreen, sun glasses., we lasted just shy of 45 minutes and we couldn't sit still. (Took us longer to prepare for the rest than how long we relaxed!) We showered and set out exploring for one last time before we leave this area. Tomorrow we move to a farm stay near Cortona. Went out for one last San Gimignano walk in the countryside, Locals are driving by now and waving to us. They understand that man from...

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May 2, 2015 - Wine and olive oil tasting siena

Aided by Rolaids, Tylenol, few bottles H2O, we Drove over to Sienna. Our olive oil tasting, yet another wine tasting, home made pasta and walking tour thru the city with a knowledgable, wonderful guide. Olive oil will never be the same to us, how wonderful that experience was! Thought we'd be gone only a few hours, but it turned out to be an exciting full day trip. Back to the farm and visited again with the same friends we just made. We all cooked pasta together, and of course drank wine. Said our good bye to our new friends from the...

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