San Gimignano – Lovely Medieval Tuscan Village

Arbitrary Swoon Gimignano

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If you could just imagine the perfect little medieval village in the Tuscan countryside, surely San Gimignano would fit that bill.

Arbitrary Swoon Gimignano

photograph via pinterest

See what I mean?  The warm colors of the earth, buildings and sky seep the essence of Italy that is the quintessential vision appearing when the Tuscan countryside is mentioned.  I could see it all in my head, however what we saw on this particular trip was a tad bit different due to the season that we visited.

As we drove the long and windy road through the snow up to this walled city on a hill it became quite obvious that this stop would be like none other on this trip.  We parked part way up the hill and then proceeded to climb the small hill on foot to the entrance of this incredible stone city.  We stopped for a quick photograph on a walled bridge where you could barely make out the incredible views through the falling snow.

Arbitrary Swoon San Gimignano

The photograph that we stopped to take is during the dead of winter, the photograph on the left is a stock photo of the exact same bridge where we posed to give a comparison of the extremely different views at different seasons. The hot chocolate (aka Momma Wright’s Chocolate Gravy) was the only thing that I could find to warm me up… I lightened it up a bit with milk and it was fabulous!

Within the walls of the city, it is only foot traffic and the stoned walkways are flanked by small pottery stores, gift shops, as well as gelato and pastry cafes.  The architecture is a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles and there are 14 towers preserved within San Gimignano of varying heights.

Arbitrary Swoon San Gimignano

The Piazza della Cisterna is the main square in town and in the center of it is a well which was the city’s main source of water.  The square itself dates from 1346.  It was unfortunate that it was raining or snowing most of the time that we were there, as we didn’t get to spend enough attention to the details of the town and basically ducked into and out of storefronts for the majority of the visit.

Arbitrary Swoon San Gimignano

As we headed off the hill to our next stop I got a kick out of a sign showing the city of Volterra a short distance away…  I’m a Twilight fan and this city is an important location within the series of books.

Our next stop was Tenuta Torciano Winery for a private wine tasting.  I myself am not a wine connoisseur by any means but ‘while in Rome’ or San Gimignano in this case, I was sure to try it all!  They had a lovely spread laid out for us of appetizers and sweets and proceeded to pair up each wine with a complimentary food.  It was all rather interesting how the flavors played off of one another.  I still am not a fan of red wines but the whites turned out to be quite yummy!  I will say that my all time favorite two products out of this particular winery were not wine at all.  I fell in love with their truffle oil & aged balsamic vinegar, they were my absolute favorite and I had a few bottles sent home for future sharing.

Arbitrary Swoon Wine Tasting

http://www.torciano.com/USA/winery/

Although the day was long, blustery and quite frankly freezing it was one that I am so glad to have participated in!  Exposure to new and historic locations as well as unusual flavors certainly enriches ones own understanding of different cultures, and that is a huge reason why I love to travel!