Friday, April 9:  A Rainy Day in Medieval San Gimignano

Today we woke up to find that it was raining, and today we were going to be exploring the outside of hilltowns, and hardly ever be under shelter. I got dressed and started my homework so that I didn’t need to do it later. Though soon we were getting hungry, so we walked down to the breakfast area to find that we were the only ones there. I had some cereal and OJ and muffins, and things like that. It was very good, and I’m glad it is because we’ll be eating breakfast there for 9 nights. Robert and I went to our room to grab our packs and stuff, and met our parents at their room. Once we were ready, we got in the car and drove to Certaldo, a quiet little hilltown. But we could only park at the bottom of the hill, so we took a little cable car up to the top. It was very cool because you could see the town as you went higher. I landed and got off, then started walking. We pretty much just looked around, and it was pretty funny to see all of the pigeons hiding in little holes in the brick walls. We checked out one church with somebody’s skeleton and then left. After we saw everything, I punched my ticket because it was a roundtrip deal on the cable car. We landed again, and Dad wanted us to go find a laundromat, and we did, but I don’t know if they dry it for you. Our next stop was San Gimignano, a touristy hilltown.

It was a short drive, but was pretty because of all of the vineyards. We reached the town, but needed parking, so we got in line at the lot to wait until somebody left to grab the spot. It took shorter than I thought, but we eventually got one. After that I walked to the town gate and went through. It was still rainy, so we had our umbrellas. First we needed a tourist information place, so we looked for it. Once we came to an intersection Robert and Dad backtracked while Mom and I stayed behind. They came back and said it wasn’t open until later, so we moved on. Everyone was hungry, so we went to a lunch spot that was recommended by a friend of my Dads. It looked like a winery, but proved not to be when we went inside. I ordered a ham and some old cheese that tasted like parmeasan sandwich with a Fanta. The cheese was good, but the meat and bread wasn’t. I managed to eat it all, but will never order it again. My dad had a lard sandwich (GROSS), and liked it. Once we finished, we went to a big tower and bought tickets to go up it.

There was a huge winding staircase to get up, and was a little creepy. After that there was a ladder that took us to the platform at the top. It was neat because there were big bells twice as big as me. But even more spectacular was the view! You could see the entire town and all around it. We stayed up for a while, and then walked back down the staircase. The people held our bags bought our tickets, so we got them back and headed out. When we were at the hotel the day before, there was a gift of a free pass for a tour of the city, so we did that. There was a tour guide talking to us in English and Italian, and she was easy to spot because she had a bright white umbrella. Only one family needed to hear Italian, so she did them second. I got a little bored near the end, and so did my family, but some parts were interesting. Our last stop was the tourist office, because it was open now. Dad figured out about internet cafes, and Mom figured out about Easter Masses. It was still very cold, and I was happy to get in the warm car and drive back to our hotel. We grabbed our stuff and I went back to our room to finish my homework.