Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Day Eight

June 16, 2009 7:52A.M.

The hill towns of Tuscany. We hit the two big ones yesterday. Siena and San Gimignano. The shower thing wasn’t all that bad. We left maybe five minutes after our scheduled time slot. For some reason the gps was hell bent on taking us the shortest distance routes, which we quickly discover isn’t the fastest. At all. It took us backways and byways that in Italy translates to switchbacks and round abouts for days.

We had scheduled a 30 minute drive to Siena because it was only 33 km away. It took us an hour and a half. Finally we reached the crayola city and fought for stadium parking. Weird spots that surrounded the perimeter, yet nothing like a parking garage. Gordon dented the bumper pulling into a spot that finished right at the stadium steps. Good thing we paid for full coverage.

A short walk brought us to the Il Campo, the famous fan-like square. We stopped for some antihistamine for Julie’s squito bites that were taking over her elbow. Then to a café called Bar Palio. Funniest little take away cups. They looked ceramic so we kept trying to get the counter guy to understand we wanted to walk around with them. Then we picked them up and “Ooooh,” they’re plastic. Cooling sleeve was built in.

Next we scheduled a time to meet back and split off into fractions for two hours. Gordon and I head right for the Clock Tower. Gluttons for punishment. Only 400 steps today, through the narrowest tightest passageways. It’s a good thing they made us put our bag in a free locker. The view was amazing.
We walked further up to the Siena hill to the Duomo (Doo-min-O). Then back down to meet up for lunch. I got a free taste of the local panaforte. Yum! Everyone else grabbed a gelato (JELL-ah-toe) and we were back into the cars. Can you believe that the heat of the day popped the bumper back out with hardly a noticeable scratch? Yeah!

45 minutes and 9 km later we reached the Renaissance city of San Gimignano. I liked this one better. It didn’t have the same touristy feel. The square was all done up with a MayPole for their festival this coming weekend. Vicky and Alan joined us on the Tower tour and again we got the grand sweeping vistas.

Gordon and I picked up some salami, cheese (formaggio), and tagliaterre pasta for dinner. Jim grabbed some olives and wines. The Coop (say it like chicken coop, NOT co-op, sticking tongue out at Allison) was closed. So when we returned, Vicky and Alan grabbed some salad and another pasta from the bar downstairs. We had ourselves a feast in a very over heated cucina.

After a cooling dip in the pool and some limoncello, we were ready for bed. An hour earlier than usual mind you.
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