Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Certaldo- Day 5 San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a little medieval town in Tuscany. It had been a stop along the pilgrim's path to the Holy Lands, until the plague hit. Now a days, it's not quite as touristy as some other places we went to, but we were there on an Italian national holiday, so it was quite crowded. The first thing we did was go to the Doumo, above.

We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the Doumo, so I pulled this off the Internet. The walls were covered in these amazing frescoes. One side was all Old Testament stories and the other side was all New Testament stories. The Hell fresco was in the back of the church, and was pretty disturbing. And for whatever reason, they had a lot of postcards depicting scenes from the Hell fresco.

My favorite thing about this church was all the fake marble. Either they couldn't afford real marble, or obtain real marble, and thus painted panels below the story frescoes to look like marble. We saw this technique in a few other places in Italy, but San Gimignano had the best fake marble.

After a quick picnic lunch, we climbed to the top of the bell tower. It was a lot of steep, steep stairs, ending in a little metal ladder to get all the way up to the top. But the views were worth it.

I loved this tower with flowers growing out of the side of it.
We ate the best gellato I've ever had in my life and then wandered around the town a little bit before heading off for a tour and dinner at Fattoria Poggio Alloro, a small family run organic farm and winery.
This is a view of San Gimignano from the farm.

We saw the vineyard and the winery.

And the cows.

We then sat down to one of the most amazing meals of the whole trip, which included beef from the cows we had just seen. Every part of the meal was organic and produced there at the farm. It was seriously delicious.

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