Siena, Volterra, and San Gimignano
03.26.2011 - 03.26.2011
We woke up early on day 6, had breakfast at the hotel, and started the drive to Volterra. There is no way to describe how curvy the roads were around this area. The roads are also pretty narrow and the locals drive very fast. At one point I thought Jenn was going to throw up but she handled it like a trooper.
We arrived in Volterra and everything was fine until all hell broke loose. I had pre-programmed some parking into the GPS but what the Garmin didn't tell me was that it was Saturday and they were having a farmers market in the streets. Even without these farmers markets the drive would have been very challenging. There are no sidewalks so you're driving where people are walking, cars are parked, and the road is narrow to begin with. I got stuck in multiple dead ends and didn't have space to turn around. I had to back down hills where I had less than a foot on each side of the car. Jenn got out of the car to help me get around these obstacles. Looking back i think she got out of the car so she didn't have to experience my breakdown. In the end it all worked out and we finally found a parking lot. I'd like to apologize to Hertz, from the smell of the clutch, I think I did about 5 years worth of damage to the clutch in one afternoon.
Volterra was an interesting town and like other hill towns had an amazing church. After a couple of hours exploring the town we decided to get back in the car and head for San Gimignano.
We arrived in San Gimignano without any issues San Gimignano is a small town that's known for it's towers. It has 14 different towers in town. When talking about these hill towns it's hard to describe exactly what you do because you don't go there to see specific landmarks. You just walk around these towns and that's enough to stay entertained. You turn a corner and see something else that isn't in the guidebook but is interesting.
Before leaving San Gimignano we talked about how we had been in Italy for 5 days and hadn't had any gelato. We went to Gelateria di Piazza near the square and it was the best gelato we've ever had anywhere. The final 4 days of our trip we never went another day without a little gelato
We got back to Siena and had dinner at Trattoria La Torre. In my opinion, this was the best place we ate at during the whole trip. The tiny restaurant probably had seating for 30 people, the owner refused to speak English (usually a good sign), and the food was excellent. The owner seated us and proceeded to give us our options in Italian. There were no menus but Jenn managed to figure out what he was saying and ordered for both of us. While seated you sitting about 5 feet from the open kitchen and you can see everything they do. The dried pasta was sitting on a table as you walked into the restaurant. For desert we had tiramisu, which was also amazing.