We got up today in San Gimignano and said, “Hey, let’s go over to Volterra today.” About 45 minutes. So, after a light breakfast and wandering through San Gim for about an hour, we got in our car and drove through what we think is the finest scenery in all of Italy: Tuscan landscapes.
Volterra is an ancient Truscan town, which at one time hosted some 25,000 residents who were bent on powerful defense of themselves. Think Spartans. The Florentines took them over, which they had the knack of doing — even sending the great Dante from his home. One favorite site is the port, built in about the 4th Century BC, made of tufa, reminded us again of how ancient this city is.
We enjoyed our time there. I have to admit that some of our favorite experiences in Italy are simply sitting in an outdoor cafe and having coffee (latte). Love it. Peaceful, quiet hubub of tourists — many of them German which gives me the delight of listening in on spoken German and occasionally talking in German with some natives. And of course we do dip in occasionally to a gelato shop.
And we love to stop at vineyards and olive orchards during our drives. We stop in to taste (and purchase) “tipici produtti” — home-made stuff. We stopped at now fewer than three places today — for some olive oil and vino rosso.
We don’t miss Florence one minute.
Have you ever seen the sun cascade over a Tuscan hillside of poppies or olive trees or vineyards?
On eating dinner … every restaurant is local, private, non-corporate. And we try to pick a restuarant where I can taste the local chef’s take on risotto.