Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Italy: San Gimignano
Good Morning from the bus. Today we are off to San Gimignano. It was hard getting up as the rain hitting the shuttered walls to the pensionne sent me back to slumber land.
A beautiful breakfast was served. Eggs, barely cooked bacon...but oh so good...and a croissant and juice is my usual morning fare. The breakfast layout is amazing and filled with cheeses, fruits, pastries and just about anything you could wish for. Just beautiful.
With stout coffee finally infused into my bloodstream, I was ready to explore Italy and spend a few Euros that have been eating a hole in my cut proof, thief proof, water proof super wallet.
Off we go to San Gimignano...did I say it was raining earlier? Well, it was pouring now. A stop at an autogrill for a pee break in a one holer had us lined up and giggling over mini tic tac case filled with about 5 candies. They were all sold off the shelf by departure.
Next, we rolled just outside the walled city and disembarked the bus. The rain still pouring. A walk inside the city gates instantly brought you instantly back to ancient days. Narrow cobblestone roads snake up to the piazza. The stores on each side of the "road" are filled with ceramics, clothing, leather bags, perfumes, lotions, all kinds of souvenirs, and even a meat shop selling pastrami and other sausage looking things.
I walked into a little shop and purchased some amazing little leather bound journals and ....CRACK!!!!! Thunder louder than any I had ever heard before. I'm guessing ricocheting from the stone walls and ancient cobblestone roads....The clerk jumped in fear...actually we all did...and the electricity went out in San Gimiagno. Not wanting to give up these amazingly fabulous leather albums, rain or thunder, we laid Euros down and told her to keep the change.
The rain came down in torrents. For some insane reason, this dark rainy day made it just that much more fun, mysterious and adventurous. The rain was coming down so hard, water poured out of my shoes, pants were soaked, jacket drenched and cheap travel umbrella bent and tuned upside down. But I still found myself having the best time of my life.
We came down the hill, outside the gate and ran into the Super Mercado... the grocery...for Italian paper glue, my infamous Monster energy drink and some dry socks. Ahhhh. Now a quick que for the autobus and we were off to the winery.
San Donato Winery...
This truly magical place is a photographer's dream. What am I saying...it's a dream for anyone who is lucky enough to cross through it's rusted gates..
Lunch was served in Tuscano style...Good Gravy on Biscuits folks...This was just like a Thanksgiving spread...let me see...onions, cheeses, olives, prosciutto, salami, genoa, a wonderful salad made from spelt, olive oil drizzled brochette and so many more fantastic Tuscan delicacies. Lunch ended when Biscotti was served and I was out of that chair faster than lightning. This was an amazing amazing place to explore and photograph.
An hour and a half bus ride and we were back and ready for a warm shower and a change of clothes.
Maybe a nap I thought??? But the sounds of the shops on the piazza beckoned me to release more Euros...I found a wonderful gallery store that sold amazing papers and such and felt like I scored.
Dinner was next...we met 10 others from our group in the lobby and off we went for a truly romantic trek down the hill to Cibus. Trying to be Italian, I of course goofed and had an amazing piece of lasagna first and then for my main course ended up with a quite remarkable Salas with greens, black olives and slivers of Parmigiano cheese. Delicioso...
We wobbled so over stuffed to the gelateria for a pistachio gelato....Bahahaha. But you have to eat right?
A wonderful wonderful magical dark day. So many cool memories.
Sorry about not adding pictures. Please check out Facebook for the days pics..
The Gentleman Crafter