Day: 235 & 236
Towns / Cities Visited: 154
Countries Visited: 28
Steps Taken Today: 23,003
Steps Taken Around the World: 3,866,151
We awoke lazily to what would be the start of two days of small-town exploration on our journey from Tuscany down to Rome. As fun as seeing the famous tourist sites and major cities is, it’s important not to forget that the most authentic experiences are often found in the heartlands of the countries you visit. With that in mind, we bundled into our car, bid farewell to the beautiful surrounds of our Airbnb just outside Pisa, and began the hour-long trip to our first destination; the quaint hilltop town of San Gimignano.
Now, despite how the movies love to depict this part of the world, our morning was anything but spent under the warm glow of the Tuscan sun; instead, a good chunk of our drive was spent being pummelled by torrential rain. By the time we finally made it to the foot of the hill and parked though, the rain had eased, and left in its wake a lingering mist. Although it somewhat marred the view of the picture perfect town with its 13th century walls and famed collection of historic towers, we pulled our jackets tight around us, wound our way up past the grey-green olive trees speckling the incline, and ducked through the gate, into the safety of the towns heart.
As we wandered amongst the weathered fawn bricks and imperfect stones which me up the centuries old architecture here, the clouds insisted on releasing another light shower. It was comfortably lunch time by this point, and we decided to forgo sightseeing until the drizzle eased, and instead found ourselves somewhere to eat. By this point in the year, we were well within the realm of off-season, when the lesser visited locations like San Gimignano all wind down, and many of their eateries close for winter: a strange concept for us, in truth. Luckily, the place was not devoid of food options and we spotted a little trattoria in one of the narrow streets offering home-made pasta. With the weather being less than optimal, it was precisely what we wanted…