Lots of towers, stormy weather and the best gelato ever. That pretty much sums up our visit to San Gimignano. Better known as the city of towers, San Gimignano is a medieval town in the hills of the Province of Siena. It's unique because San Gimignano still has 14 towers gracing its skyline, unlike most other cities in Tuscany where they have been destroyed by wars.
For anyone interested in getting to San Gimignano by public transport, it's fairly easy to get there from Florence as long as you know how. There's a bus station close to Santa Maria Novella where you can take a bus to Poggibonsi. There you can hop on a connecting bus to San Gimignano, which drops you off right in front of the city gates. It's about a two hour trip if I remember well - not that long plus you get to see wonderful landscapes on the way!
It was well worth it too. I was dazzled once we entered the city walls. The town was so authentic and seemed to be ripped right out of the pages of a historical novel. I was especially charmed by the Piazza della Cisterna, the town's most important square. It has a wishing well in the middle which somehow reminded be a bit of the fountain Belle sat on in Beauty & The Beast (I find Disney references in everything though).
On the same square you'll find people queueing at Gelateria Dondoli, which is known to have some of the best gelato in the world and has won many awards for it. So of course it couldn't miss from my 'must-try-gelaterias-list'. And there's no denying it, it was finger licking good. I tried the cinnamon flavor and my favorite was the raspberry-rosemary gelato. I'm normally more a chocolate-nutty type of gal, but this was really yum!
Anyway, gee I could fill an entire book with my love for gelato but let's move on. Our plan was to go up in one of the towers but then the weather decided otherwise. Before our trip, my neighbours had warned me that the two times they visited San Gimignano it had rained, and so it did this time. All of a sudden the blue sky turned grey and we could see lighting all around the town. For safety reasons, all towers were closed for visitors. It wasn't what we'd hoped for but the rain did somehow add to the medieval feeling and it's an experience we won't soon forget.
Hope you're still enjoying La Bella Italia! Up next is Lucca!
1 & 2. The many towers of San Gimignano - 3. Gelato from Gelateria Dondoli - 4. The well on the Piazza della Cisterna - 5. Stormy weather taking over the city - 6. A cute street a little outside the centre - 7. View from the city