Just a little over 8 years ago my friend Jo asked me to go on a day trip with her and her then 4 year old daughter to a town I had never herd of, San Gimignano. In fact a town I couldn’t pronounce without falling over the g’s! Max was 4-ish and Alex must have been 8-10months?? Anyway, I loved hanging out with Jo so it was an instant ‘yes’. Eight years ago we were poor as church mice (Nic was a student doing his Phd) and Jo being a fabulous friend recommended we take a packed lunch and just enjoy the views, so with sangos and fruit packed we headed to one my all time favourite towns in Italy. The medieval town blew me away the first time I laid eyes on it and again the second time around, eight years later.
With Jo I remember pushing strollers up the somewhat steep streets and letting the kids run around the square chasing whatever they could find, namely each other! We took lots of photos, picnicked under trees on the outside of the town’s medieval walls and soaked in the surrounds while devouring our sandwiches. I was so excited to tell Nic about this wonderful town and hoped I would be able to show it to him one day. Sadly all my pictures of eight years ago have gone when the bastards stole our computer a few years ago when our house was burgled, however, last Sunday we got to take a whole lot more photos and with Nic included.
I couldn’t help but think of Jo as we were strolling around, we didn’t go into any of the free churches (saw them last time) but we did go into the Palazzo Comunale and have a look around at the frescos and climbed the tower (actually I have to confess, Nic and Alex made it all the way to the top of the tower and took some amazing shots while Max and I only made it three quarters of the way up the stairs before we turned around and looked out of a window a little closer to ground level).
We had a wonderful day together but in all honesty no more so than when I went as a much poorer mother of two 8 years ago: I would have to say each time was as enjoyable as the other. So really the company you keep is much more memorable than the money you spend. It is an easy drive from Florence, straight up the autostrada, very well signposted and very easy to park. I know you can also catch buses to San Gimignano so really there is no excuse not to see this beautiful town for yourself when you plan your trip to Italy, and if you need a little incentive check out the scenes below….
Looking out from somewhere up in the tower taken by Alex on his way up
This is a back end view as we were walking into town, the towers are so striking and to see them like this you have to walk to the end of town (which will take you all of 10 minutes at a casual stroll).
This is my favourite shot….see how high up they were? Woo!
Pretty happy with himself…and rightly so!
Alex loves taking ‘selfies’, however, this time he wanted one with all of us…..come to think of it, this could be the first family shot in months!
This was inside the Palazzo Comunale, so beautiful to stand in on a warm day and look up
What is there to not love about this place?
The boys were super happy to eat pizza as they haven’t had any since Rome. Nic and I managed to find a deli that made us some delicious porchetta and marinated eggplant rolls (thank god we both ate them as the garlic breath was fairly intense afterward!)
Come on guys, just ONE serious shot for your grandparents???
We’ve been there! I remember we actually splashed out on a meal with a glass of wine – quite a treat for a backpacker, but the town just put us in the mood. Don’t remember doing much otherwise except walking around – that was enough!
The picture of you in that family selfie is great – you look gorgeous in that hat.
Very wise words about the company being more important in making a great trip than the money you can afford to spend.
It is that kind of place isn’t it. I love hats, thank you!
Oh Milly stop now…..how are we going to see everything when we come to visit!! Looks so beautiful, think Max was really going to enjoy that pizza. Just love the photo of the Baker Boys xx
Once again you make me want to go travelling… exploring Italy definitively crawls up on my travel list the more I read your blog (I’ve always been interested but apart from a couple of short pops in to the country – one when downhill skiing across the border 😉 -I’ve never made it).
Also, your sons are gorgeous! Such a twinkle in their eyes, in all the photos 🙂
Love these wonderful small towns.
san gimignano – i know it well. have family in tuscany
Nice report. We can see San Gimignano form our villa. When we were searching for somewhere to live every property owner was keen to point out SG from every angle as a selling point. ‘If you lean out over the railings you can just see SG to the right’ or ‘If you walk to the bottom of the garden, you can see SG through the trees’ or ‘There’s a little chink in the fence here where you see SG!’ Thankfully, we can just sit on our terrace and SG pops up every day just like in a pop up book! Lovely place but very touristy…
I think you must have the perfect spot, the amazing views and no tourists! My son even commented on the fact that there were so many tourists……a beautiful place to visit
Si, esatto. La vista e bellisimo!
I love the family picture:) Ahhhhhh San Gimignano, the city of towers 🙂 We visited it the same day as Volterra. Beautiful!:)
Thank you, I should be thanking him for getting us all together in one shot!
Sounds like you had a fabulous trip here already!
I have fond memories of San Gimignano as well! I remember eating gelato while sitting near a well that was some crazy amount of years old. I think Wes’s dad was with us- or maybe it was my parents. We loved it so much we went back in late November with my sister and brother-in-law, but the gelato place was closed for the season and the town was very quiet. Kind of depressing, actually. I definitely want to get back there someday! So many villages in the Florence area that are worth visiting… we also loved Lucca and Montefioralle (which is just “up” from Greve in Chianti). Ahh, fall in Italy!!
Lucca is on our list & I’ll look into Montefioralle now too!
That was a great day wasn’t it? Glad you got to go back. Did you ever get those photos?
What photos Jo?? Yes a great day! X