Saturday 12 October 2013

Day 32 Gambassi-Termi to San-Gimignano 12.7 km & day 33, we stay anextra night!

Friday 11th &12th October Day 32 & 33 Gambassi-Termi to San-Gimignano 12.7 km - and stay an extra day to rest and explore San-Gimignano 

One of my favourite days of walking so far!
And not because its a short walk either!
So many distractions and temptations for the pilgrim...
wineries, olive oil tasting... sooo tempting! We resist, actually we have no choice... - too early in the morning for them to be open.
We meet Mario, who is raking and smoothing the road after the storm last night, he's up for quite a chat, and we get some local knowledge about the area, where to look out for old remnants of stone roads we will walk over, some politics, the poor state of Italy in caring for roads etc...! The property market- he purchased his property from someone in Lichtenstein when he retired! (it's also a holiday rental, looks gorgeous!....) He now has an extensive, gorgeous garden with hundreds of roses! 
Remnants of Stone Via Francigena roads below- bit difficult to see... but lots of these sections of stone are visible for the next kilometer or so.
Feasting our eyes on rural splendor!
I stop off and have a look at the church of the Sanctuary of Pancole. There is a priest inside who stamps my pilgrim credenza. He's quite interested that we've come all the way from Australia 
Inside the church and Sanctuary of Pancole.
at Pancole, there's also a grotto of statues and lambs following a path under the church...
Seeing the amazing towers of San Gimignano in the distance, vineyards in the foreground.
San-Gimignano  had 72 towers in medieval times! Many built in the 11-14th C  can you imagine? now there are only 14. 

Arriviamo San Gimignano! 
Amazing, lovely preserved walled hilltop village- fairly touristy
We find our accommodation, which turns out to be a real treat! it's in the middle of San Gimignano, our window overlooks the street, the room is charming, up on the second floor, original 16th ? C building, high ceilings, teracotta floors - just delightful!
We find the self serve Lavanderia to give our clothes a much needed proper wash and dry, must be the cutest location for a Lavanderia / laundrymat in the world!
have some late lunch a couple of doors up the via while the clothes are washing - have some wine, pane and Tuscan soup...

For me, the walk today to San-Gimignano is comparable (but different) in scenic beauty and architectural interest to the walks along the hillside villages of Aosta Valley!
We try out what is reputed to be the best gelato in the world at Gelateria Dondoli! Huge line ups outside earlier in the day, so,we wait until late afternoon when the queues have gone.
A group,of musicians, double bass and two guitars set up in the Piazza and play a mixture of classical and contemporary music - great acoustics in the piazza! (sorry about the terrible photo)
I have a healthy dinner of delicious ribollita, Tuscan soup and Patrick has his favourite ravioli, the sauce a bit different, with pine nuts and saffron. Delicious! In a cute Osteria called (four cats) "Quattor Gatti"

We decide to stay 2 nights... spend more time exploring this amazing hilltop town, get our laundry done properly and have a relax!

EXPLORING SAN-GIMIGNANO  - Saturday 12th October
Well- it's cold and rainy this morning, a good day to stay local and not walk very far! 
We wander and explore. Have a look at the commune,

We have a relaxing exploration of the town.

Climbed the Tower, Torre Grossa. built in 1311, 54 m high. 

Great view over the village and surrounding countryside

 360 degree views from the tower!
and a selfie....

... and wandered through the museum, religious art, icons abound! 
the duomo - Cathedral ... "no photo" covered with art work and frescoes! You'll need to have a look on the Internet ...

explored the art gallery opposite our room 
Generally just wandered, took photos, 

people watched and relaxed in this little gem of a town! 

Sadly, no room in my pack for shoes.. great leather shoe and bag shops!

Fancy some wild boar?

The sky cleared this afternoon, with some sunshine smiling through - hopefully more sun domani! (tomorrow) 

Our final dinner, cena in San-Gimignano was at a little trattoria called Chiribiri, very nice!

Our accommodation for two nights in gorgeous San Gimignano 
 La Casa di Giovanna - tel 0577 940419.   50 Euro for a double room   (pilgrim price, October)
Address: Via San Giovanni, 58, 53037 San Gimignano Province of Siena, Italy
 Within the walls of that exquisitely beautiful medieval town -  a gorgeous en-suite room with a double bed in a 16 or 17 th century house with high ceilings and old teracotta floor tiles.  History,  style and comfort ...   PH: 0577941232. or  3351270902
Other options
Address: Piazza Sant'Agostino, San Gimignano
Phone: 0577 907012
Type: Religious Structure
Open: All year round
Price: Offer
Number of seats: 4
Use of kitchen: NO

PALAZZO BUONACCORSI - from 50 Euro double  - near piazza san Augustino
PALAZZO BUONACCORSI di Boldrini Pierluigi

Via San Matteo 95
53037 San Gimignano (SI)
Tel: +39 349 8079349

Parish of St. James - Via San Giacomo n. 14
Oratory with bedroom, shower, kitchen.
A donation, must notify us in advance.
For dinner in the village there are possibilities in a pizzeria or restaurant.
Where is it: come to the point 103, rather than take the dirt road, cross the ferrovia.sul level crossing and entering the country
Father Patrick, cell phone 011/918.95.28 339/333.59.28
parrocchia.torrazza @

San Gimignano Convento Sant’Agostino Sant’Agostino
Tel +39 0577 907012
4 Offer
San Gimignano Foresteria del monastero
San Girolamo
Presso Porta San
Tel/fax +39 0577 940573
32 25 euro with breakfast 

San Gimignano - Convent of St. Augustine
We recommend using the phone number 0577-90.70.12.
The number 0577-94.03.83 indicated on the guide remains active as a fax 

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