As I mentioned last time, Billy and I went on a tour that took us around Tuscany to Siena, San Gimignano, and Pisa. The tour was run by Walkabout. Our tour guide, Lavinia, is a native of San Gimignano and did a wonderful job showing us around!
SIENA – Siena is a town rooted in tradition. There is a big horse race held twice a year called the Palio, which dates back to medieval times. Residents of Siena belong to a contrada (district), represented by an animal, and compete in the Palio for pride. We visited the Piazza del Campo, where the Palio takes place and the Siena Cathedral. My favorite part was the Piccolomini Library inside the cathedral. The frescos were so bright and beautiful that I almost didn’t even look at the manuscripts!
FATTORIA POGGIO ALLORO – After Siena, we headed to Fattoria Poggio Alloro, an organic farm 5km outside of San Gimignano, where we had lunch and a wine tasting. We had bruschetta, pasta with beef bolognese, pork with potatoes, and cantuccini (almond biscotti). Each dish was served with a wine made on the farm!
SAN GIMIGNANO – Our next stop was San Gimignano, a medieval town famous for it’s towers. We loved this cute little town and wish we’d had more time there. The town is well preserved and feels like you have stepped back in time, except with gelato. We had gelato at Gelato Dondoli, which has won several world championship titles for their gelato. There were traditional flavors as well as unique ones like saffron which was Billy’s favorite. Mine was the grapefruit sparkling wine.
PISA – The last stop on our tour was Pisa. It was really funny watching people take silly pictures with the leaning tower from all over the piazza. We walked down to the Arno River and watched the sunset. Then we took a trolley that looked like a little train that took us around the city before boarding the bus back to Florence.
We had a great day and would definitely recommend the tour if you don’t have a lot of time, but want to do some sightseeing outside of Florence!