San Gimignano

Toscana

 

Driving from Venice to San Gimignano along the autostrada, we went through many tunnels like this one. The scenery was magnificent between Bologna and Firenze, but where there were views there was no parking, and where there was parking there were no views.

 

The view of San Gimignano as you drive towards it.

 

In San Gimignano, we stayed in an apartment built into the town walls near the Porta San Matteo. This was the living room, with a minimal kitchen in the corner.

 

San Gimigano is noted for its medieval towers.

 

 

 

The Duomo and the tower of the Palazzo del Populo.

 

Piazza della Cistina: the centre of San Gimignano.

 

Dusky sunset from our apartment window, looking over a new part of San Gimignano.

 

San Gimignano window.

 

 

 

Nearby silver birch plantation.

 

A farm just outside San Gimignano.

 

When we visited Arezzo, the town was preparing for its "Joust of the Saracen" tournament that evening, with many people around in medieval dress.

 

The main square in Arezzo.

 

This is the Saracen. Contestants come galloping in on a horse, aim a lance at the target, and hope that they don't get knocked off the horse as the Saracen's outstretched arm comes around.

 

This is the front of the Duomo (Cathedral) in Florence.

 

Detail from over the Cathedral's main door.

 

Bronze doors of the Cathedral.

 

La Chiesa della Spina on the banks of the Armo in Pisa. This delightful little church was built to house one thorn (spina) from the Crown of Thorns worn by Christ during the Crucifixion.

 

Inside, there is this lovely statue of Madonna e Bambino.

 

Of course, the reason everyone goes to Pisa is to see this major medieval cock-up.

 

The Baptistry is part of the same complex, and it has a bit of a lean also.

 

Fortunately, the Cathedral is firmly upright.

 

The main front of the Cathedral, in very Tuscan style.

 

The cast bronze doors of the Baptistry, showing scenes from the life of Christ.

 

Closeup of one of the scenes.

 

The border has all kinds of whimsical details, like this frog.

 

The extraordinary carved pulpit in the Cathedral.

 

The nave of the Cathedral in Pisa ...

 

... contrasts with that in Siena.

 

The floor of the Siena Duomo has a series of extraordinary marble inlay sculptures.

 

Exterior of the Siena Duomo, with its ecclesiastical tower ...

 

... and the Palazzo del Popolo, with its municipal tower.

 

Il Campo, the main square in Siena.

 

A much-photographed well in Siena.

 

Just north of Siena is the village of Monteriggioni, surrounded by medieval walls.

 

One of Montereggioni's towers from within.

 

The church at Monteriggioni.

 

Leaving San Gimignano and driving towards Rome, we went by Pienza and passed this chapel which is much photographed and appears in many calendars featuring Tuscany.

 

We also passed the town of Montepulciano, but did not stop; mainly because we could not find anywhere to park.....

Then it was back onto the autostrada, and on to Rome.

 

Copyright © 2002 by Lynn or Nick Booth.