Friday, March 16, 2007

San Gimignano, Monteriggioni & Siena

San Gimignano skyline

Earlier in the week, Massimo had suggested some Tuscan villages to the south that we visit. I decided to make those our route through to Siena, which was a little over 2 hours away.

The first stop was San Gimignano, which once had 70 towers erected by rich families, but today only has 14 13 (oops, Bondi don't kick so hard) remaining. Nonetheless this presents an interesting New York-ish skyline for a town with population of 7000.

Today many of the public squares were taken up by nondescript market stalls selling discounted clothing, so it was not great for sizing up the atmosphere.


The walled town of Monteriggioni looks great from the road, sitting on a hilltop, but there is not much going on between its circular wall(s). Unless you are a dedicated student of history, you can see most everything standing in the gate which opens onto the Piazza Roma.

Siena, crowned by its Duomo.

Reaching Siena, the largest of the Etruscan-founded hill towns in ths region, I discover that either I or Expedia managed to get the booking dates for my hotel wrong by a week but there's a vacancy so no great drama. We're about 2km from the centre, so after waiting for the afternoon heat to abate, I play parking-roulette with the satnav system and drive in to the edge of the walled section of town.


First impressions are very favourable: the streets winding around the huge Piazza del Campo are busy with inviting galleries, restaurants and the promise of yet another Duomo. This one is quite immense, and intentionally so: it was to be the largest cathedral in the world with a unique North-South axis for its axis.

1 comment:

  1. Your photo's are so incredibly beautiful!

    I just love the one of Bondi laying in the grass. He is such a handsome boy! I think I am becoming smitten!