Thursday, September 26, 2013

DATELINE: Siena (4)

A day in San Gimignano is  day very well spent.  Here's how it went.

We walked to the bus station early for a 9:30 bus to the hill town.  About 10 minutes in to the ride we looked at each other and thought, "Are we on the wrong bus?"  I inquired of a gentleman across the aisle who spoke ONLY German ~ not a language in my vast repertoire ~ but got the message across and he assured me we were on the right route.  So we relaxed and watched the gorgeous scenery roll by.  We made a stop in a town whose name has surpassed my favorite, Topolobampo, named Poggibonsi.  I want to live there just so I can say it frequently!  Moved on, climbing further up the side of the mountain, looking down on a beautiful, fertile valley with tilled acreage, miles of vineyards, red tile roofs, horses and cattle.  After a few hairpin curves on very narrow roads we stopped in the central piazza of this beautiful walled city.

Arch at far right is entrance to the city
 By 10:30 the streets were already clogged with tourists.

 The long, central street, lined with souvenir shops, restaurants, linen stores (this whole area is famous for its weaving and fabrics) leads from the front "gate" up to the massive, towering cathedral.

Before we went all the way up we took a side path to the left and walked out onto a broad lookout for a splendid view of the entire valley.  As you can tell from the sky it was cloudy and overcast, which made it a perfect day for trooping around.

The lucky people living in this apartment have one heck of a view.

Back to the path up the hill, through the cathedral and around a bend, and what should we find but the weekly market.  Totally serendipitous.  It reminded us of the weekly market in Vicenza (next Thursday we'll be there).  Tables and tables of clothing, linens, housewares, toys, etc.  On around another corner was the food market.  And flowers, of course.

This area is big on boar ~ you see cinghailoe in a variety of styles on almost every menu.  But this little piggy was just that, a little piggy, boned and roasted and trussed up for slicing.  Mr. C bought a pork sandwich which we ate when we got back home.  Cute, isn't he?

Beautiful fruits and vegetables . . .

Tiny two-bite pears and very sweet grapes
Tender little lettuces to take home and plant in your window box
 . . . big food trucks selling meats and cheeses ~ we bought a long, skinny salami with red pepper seasoning.  Chopped some up and tossed it into the pasta for last night's dinner.  There was also a wagon selling hot, cooked food.  We looked for the divine fish lasagne we bought from a wagon in Vicenza lo these many years ago but alas, different wagon.  We're hoping to get some next week.

We headed back down the hill, threading our way through all the camera-toting tourists and stopped outside this shop for a bit of a breather.  No purchase, however.

Well, here's one very satisfied customer.

In fact, I saw this little boy and his parents in Siena today but he was completely zonked out in his stroller.l

On down the hill where I spotted this.  It reminded me of our youth.  OK wine but terrific candleholder!

We caught the bus, admired the views, went through Poggibonsi again and I got a better look, keeping my future in mind!  Back to the apartment for pork sandwiches and beer and a bit of a lie down, basically to rest my feet.  They are getting a real workout.

I'm not sure what's on tomorrow.  It's more complicated than we had thought to get to Buonconvento so we may stay local instead.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.  The weather is supposed to change to cloudy and rainy beginning either tomorrow afternoon or Sunday morning.  That may have something to do with the plans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Liz says:

...But, you can say "Poggibonsi" all day long, and into the night, without having to move there!!!

You must try that local wine in San G.-- a lovely white that Michaelangelo mentioned somewhere. Really lovely photos.