Today was our last full day with 7 Adventurers so we didn’t want to spend it driving all over the countyside. Plus we hadn’t spent enough time in our temporary hometown.
One of the joys of staying in a Tuscan town is that there are wineries everywhere you look. There was one right down the road that we knew we had to visit.
Brian and the grandparents were the lucky taste testers that ventured out this afternoon to try the local varietal. In this area, the renowned grape is the Vernaccia. This little winery with its 12 acres grows 4 different grapes including the famous Sangiovese.
3 versions of their Vernaccia from different vintages were tasted. Ed and Loesje also tried the Merlot but we came away buying only Vernaccia bottles. One of these was a 2018 named for our host Isabella, whose family has operated this winery for generations. It was a wonderful neighborhood visit.
As the afternoon heat wound down we went into San Gimignano to do some sightseeing and enjoy some more Tuscan cuisine.
We wandered through the old gate and the narrow historic streets to a place called San Gimignano 1300. It’s biggest attraction is a ceramic recreation of the city as it existed in the year 1300. The kids love historic models and this one was fantastic, in part because it was huge by normal standards.
It was as filled with amazing details and all 74 towers that graced the skyline of San Gimignano 700 years ago.
Each of the kids picked out the house they would have lived in, wisely choosing places with towers and/or courtyards. Not surprisingly the model was dominated by the torre grossa, the biggest tower in town which was our next stop.
We’d spent time on Friday hanging out in the piazza below the tower, but this time we made our way in. It’s a museum along with the tower so on our way up the 200+ steps we took in a little 13-15th century art.
The climb to the top of the tower is easier now than it was in 1300. Instead of ladders we got commercial grade stairs to take us the 177 feet to the top – well almost. There was still a 15 foot ladder at the end of the climb.
The payoff at the top was worth it. Right below it the city spreads out – similar to the model that we’d just seen. The kids even found their same house – only this time the life-sized version.
Further on, the view is mile after mile of Tuscan countryside. Our house is out there somewhere.
Climbing back down the tower built up an appetite so our next stop was dinner in one of the small piazzas. All 7 Adventurers enjoyed their food and the comfortable atmosphere of the café.
We ended our last day as a compliment of 7 Adventurers with another stroll through the charming city streets of our current hometown of San Gimignano, enjoying some award winning treats from Gelataria Dondoli.