Are all these hill towns starting to blur for you? There is a similarity isn’t there? They are all very old with pre-Roman origins. They are built in remote locales on hill-tops, usually surrounded by walls and they are all beautiful. For me, they are all different but looking at the photos it’s a bit hard to tell them apart. Anyway, here’s another.
The distinguishing feature of San Gimignano is its towers. 14 remain of the original 72, built in 13th century. There are vineyards, figs and olives growing down the slopes to the valley below. Many of the plants growing in the gardens would be familiar to Australians living in Eastern Australia. There is the native jasmine or Star Jasmine, hibiscus and oleander. I’ve seen these plants growing all over Umbria and Tuscany.
On the day I visited there was a market in town. It took up the whole of the main piazza. Lovely leather handbags, clothes, fruit and vegetables, cheeses and bread all looked good. And there was that porchetta again. A whole pig, roasted until golden and then served up for lunch.
There were shops selling produce from the region such as cheeses, olive oil, wine and salami. This shop had a notice in English saying that the cheeses were vacuumed packed ready to take home. Not to Australia. Customs would have a fit!
The bus trip from Siena took just over an hour. There was a problem on the way back with the air-conditioning. It was a very hot hour. Bus fares are cheap. A ticket to San Gimignano cost €5.50. Another place to tick off on my list of places to see.