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May 1st, 2014


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10:38 am - Tuscany 2013 - San Gimignano
Next we drove to the Poggio Alloro farm for lunch, an organic farm close to San Gimignano that also engages in agrotourism.
San Gimignano

Pictured above, the tomboyish girl that showed us around the farm.


The room where they make their own wine.
San Gimignano


The vines. They also make olive oil. All of those as well as other products can can be bought as gifts in their show.
San Gimignano


According to our guide, some very special cows. But don't ask me what was so special about them.
San Gimignano


The nice surrounding scenery of the Tuscan countryside. You can also book a few rooms at the farm if you want to experience a bit of farm life and use the place as a base for your trips in Tuscany.
San Gimignano


Different sorts of cheese, pasta and wine were on offer for lunch. During lunch conversation I had to admit that I don't drink beer and drive a small Japanese car. Which obviously meant I can never be sure if I will be allowed to re-enter Germany.
San Gimignano


From the farm you already a have a very nice view of the next destination, San Gimignano with its medieval towers.
San Gimignano


The main gate of the city, Porta San Giovanni.
San Gimignano


The whole town is walled.
San Gimignano


The Torre Grossa seen through the main gate. Starting in the 13th century there were some ongoing rivalries between the families of the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and towers of ever increasing heights were built. At one point there were about 70 of them with the highest of them being 70 metres tall. Because not a lot happened in the San Gimignano after the Middle Ages a lot of the town and fourteen of the towers are still preserved.
San Gimignano


Judging by the amount of signs and entries I saw it looked like as if there are at least two or three "Torture Museums" in San Gimignano. But from what I've read, there's only one.
San Gimignano


The main street up the hill.
San Gimignano


From where you can glance inside a number of shops.
San Gimignano

San Gimignano


Nice tree away from the main street.
San Gimignano


Arco and Torre dei Becci. The tower is from the 13th century, and back then the Beccis were an important family of merchants.
San Gimignano


The Torre del Diavolo at the main square, the Piazza della Cisterna. If you played Assassin's Creed II you are probably familiar with the tower.
San Gimignano


At the square, you can have the Best Ice Cream in the World.
San Gimignano


Directly opposite you can buy ice-cream from the 2007 and 2009 Gelato World Champion. What are the odds?
San Gimignano


The cistern that gives the piazza its name.
San Gimignano


Pretty houses at the southern side of the square.
San Gimignano


Torre Grossa in the back, and the two Torri degli Ardinghelli in the front, with the Ardinghellis being another merchant family. The were part of the Guelphs family.
San Gimignano


The Torre Grossa, built in 1311, with a height of 54 metres, is the highest of the remaining towers. It is also the only one that can be climbed by the public.
San Gimignano


In the courtyard of the Palazzo Comunale which is next to the Torre Grossa.
San Gimignano


The palazzo has been the seat of the civic authority since the 13th century.
San Gimignano


The upper floors now house a museum, but you can freely enter the courtyard.
San Gimignano


The twin Torri dei Salvucci. The Salvucci's were from the Ghibelline family and hence bitter rivals of the Ardinghelli's.
San Gimignano


The Torre Rognosa, with a height of 51 metres, the second-highest remaining tower. It was already built in the early 13th century.
San Gimignano


The Collegiate Church of San Gimignano at the centre of the town.
San Gimignano


The lower part of the Torre Rognosa and some of the surrounding houses.
San Gimignano


Moving a bit higher and to the west, through some olive trees and to the ruins of an old fortress.
San Gimignano


In order to get the best views of some of the towers. The Torri dei Salvucci and La Rognosa.
San Gimignano


An attempt to catch the most towers.
San Gimignano


La Rognosa again in the back, the bell tower of the Church (which at one point might have been a regular town house) and the Torre Grossa where you can see a few people standing on the top.
San Gimignano


The view to the west, Sant'Agostino Church and another nice view of the scenery.
San Gimignano


Two more impressions of the streets and buildings.
San Gimignano

San Gimignano


A bit away from the main street you can find this detailed model that shows how San Gimignano looked like around 1300. Things haven't changed much since back then.
San Gimignano


Access to the main model by now is free. I didn't have more time to look around, but I think there are a few more exhibits that show how life was like back then.
San Gimignano


One of the streets parallel to the main street. Which feels a bit like looking behind the scenes of a movie set. Parked cars, very few people. And the ones you see probably actually live there.
San Gimignano


The narrow alley that leads back to the main street.
San Gimignano


While the stay in Siena was a bit too short. San Gimignano is a place that's very difficult to reach using public transportation. So visiting it with a bus tour is the best way to do it if you don't have access to a car.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:omgaeula
Date:May 1st, 2014 12:51 pm (UTC)
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Beautiful countryside! Beautiful architecture! Small cow...
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:May 2nd, 2014 11:00 am (UTC)
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Thanks!
Maybe that's what's so special about those cows. ;)

It wasn't the recent xkcd comic that brought you here, was it? :)

*waves*
[User Picture]
From:rissa333
Date:May 1st, 2014 02:48 pm (UTC)
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Gorgeous, of course! And yes, what is so damn special about that cow? Was he born on a holiday?
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:May 2nd, 2014 11:03 am (UTC)
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Thanks!
I really don't remember what was being said. I only remember that they were somehow special and I thought, well, we have cows in Germany too. And the many Americans that were on the tour were probably also familiar with cows. :) Maybe it was special food, with the whole organic thing and such.
[User Picture]
From:zrath
Date:May 1st, 2014 05:28 pm (UTC)
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"During lunch conversation I had to admit that I don't drink beer and drive a small Japanese car. Which obviously meant I can never be sure if I will be allowed to re-enter Germany."

I don't drink beer. I don't drink wine. I don't smoke. I drive a Ford pickup truck. I live in Los Angeles.
And I'm French
I'm pretty sure I won't be allowed back into France. :D


[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:May 2nd, 2014 11:04 am (UTC)
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Well, you've been gone for a few decades by now. I was only gone for a week. :D
[User Picture]
From:padawansguide
Date:May 1st, 2014 06:37 pm (UTC)
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What a gorgeous place! It's so interesting that so many of these places are the same as they have been for centuries. As you know there's no cities that old here in the US!

And a German who doesn't drink beer?! What are the odds? ;-)
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:May 2nd, 2014 11:09 am (UTC)
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I'm still glad I found the model, and I always like looking at such things. But when I now looked at the pictures I realised that, while for other places it would show how different things looked 700 years ago, in this case it mainly confirms how little has changed. :)

I really am a special snowflake. ;)
[User Picture]
From:larthia
Date:December 28th, 2014 02:32 pm (UTC)
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I suppose the cows could be "special" because that's where the, ehm, famous "bistecca alla Fiorentina" comes from? (Italian-only link, but it should give you the idea).

I had to admit that I don't drink beer and drive a small Japanese car. Which obviously meant I can never be sure if I will be allowed to re-enter Germany.

XD
[User Picture]
From:trailer_spot
Date:December 29th, 2014 10:59 am (UTC)
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I honestly don't remember. But their website indicates it one of the reasons. :)

Somewhat related. During the trip I never had to show my passport at the border or airport at all. :)

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