Heya all – just a quick update today, as rumour has it we’re off to the beach this morning.
Yesterday, after the breakfast chill, our guest went out to complete her exploring, while Niamh and I did a little shopping for water and milk, got a copy of keys cut for guests and ordered a frame for the artwork we bought a couple of days ago.
Once done, we all met up in Piazza dei Priori for a bit of lunch at Ristorante Etruria. We ate at a leisurely pace, and decided upon whether we’d hang around for a coffee and/or dessert. Instead, we went to L’Incontro for gelato!
Above is eggplant parmagiana (which I tasted – it was amazing), ravioli in with a pork ragú and taglioni with truffle. All good stuff. The waiter there recognised us, and he’s a good guy – we got a little glass of spumante each to begin the meal.
The most exciting thing we did between us that afternoon was to buy a keyring for the newly copied keys. Yep – we vegetated.
We headed out to San Gimignano at around 18:30. This town is arguably the nicest-looking small town in Tuscany. The old centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is essentially a medieval movie set. But would I live there? Hell, no! Firstly, I couldn’t affort to – property prices for apartments similar to our own were double that of Volterra. Secondly, you spend 8 months of the year rubbing arses with tourists when you head out. This might seem hypocritical as a blow-in, but hey-ho. And lastly… well, this might seem mean, but pretty is as pretty does – I think Volterra has far more culture and history to it – plenty of inspiration for stories.
We got there in about 40 minutes – we were stuck behind a slow driver for some of the way, but then spent another 15-20 minutes looking for a parking spot. We found one at the other side of town and squeezed our way in. The place was busy, even passing my expectations. It was also hot, at around 27 celsius – about 5 degrees warmer than Volterra.
We had a passable meal in La Griglia (the risotto was weird, the steak was good – no photos, as I completely forgot) – the restaurant has lovely views out into the Tuscan Countryside.
Then we headed out to the ‘business’ end of San Gimignano. Make no mistake, it is shockingly beautiful, and absolutely worth a visit. Go on an organised tour, though, or if privately, then go extremely early or after 20:30! Note all the towers. There are 13 or 14 of them, but they used to number in the low 70’s. This is why San Gimignano is often called the Manhattan of Tuscany – it looks impressive from a distance.
We headed home – Google Maps taking us on an alternative route, which would have had some pretty impressive views had we been able to see!
I had no walk this morning, and so showered early in order to free up the bathroom for the others, so we can make an early start to Marina di Cecina. I know it’s not the locals’ favourite beach here, but it has sand (albeit dark grey, due to iron content), the blue-green wobbly stuff, and a handy promenade just kissing the sand itself.
I might blog late tomorrow, or not at all, as we have to get up at sparrow-fart to drop our guest off at the airport. We’ve enjoyed having her here, and are sorry to see her go.