Today I took a day trip to San Gimingnano. It is quite the tourist trap, small but famous for it’s beauty and still-standing towers, 14 of the original 60. My man, Rick Steves says “In the 13th century, back in the days of Romeo and Juliet, feuding noble families ran the towns. They’d periodically battle things out from the protection of their respective family towers. Pointy skylines like San Gimignano’s were the norm in medieval Tuscany.”
I walked around the town, checked out some panoramas, climbed up the one open tower, and had a nice lunch in the square. I was fortunate enough to be there on a good day “11′ Anniversario stada del vino Vernaccia di San Gimingnano”. As far as I can tell something happened 11 years ago– freedom from something, I guess– and now they are having a Vernaccia wine festival this day. There were several tables, maybe 10. Each with one or two different farms / wine makers. They each gave me a tasting or two, and their tastings are very generous. I had much more wine than I needed that afternoon. Then the local restaurants had exhibitions, and each gave samples of dishes. Only one was not vegetarian. Woo! I wish I had the food first and I could have asked about how they were made. As it was, it didn’t occur to me. I was also in a rush to eat and catch my bus, or so I thought. It turned out I had an extra hour, so I got to see the traditional games. A band came out in traditional garb. Then men fought with swards and shields. It was pretty awesome!
When I got home I felt pretty awful. Not from the wine, though I’m sure that didn’t help, turns out I had a 102′ fever. Decided to have a low key day in Siena tomorrow instead of going to Rapolano Terme, like I had planned.
[Edit] Link to San Gimignano Photos: