Monday, June 2, 2014

Gambassi Terme to San Gimignano June 2

                                                                Current Day.                          Trip to Date

Distance walked- miles                               11.2.                                       254.5

Gross Climb- feet.                                      1240.                                    19,873

Song of the day: Frontier by Journey

Out on the border 
Of a changing skyline 
We put hope in front of fear 
And all the Heroes Have gone east of Eden 
We all need new frontiers

We ended up sleeping in this morning, as the hotel breakfast didn't start until 8:30.  Our walk today was a very brisk relatively short walk to San Gimignano.  As with the past two days, rolling hills with occasional steep climbs.  Again, the views over the Tuacan landscape are simply spectacular.  It was a warm day, but fortunately about half of the hike was in the shade.  

About an hour into the hike, we ran into a young man named Andrie from Barcelona.  Andrie got his Masters degree in public policy from the university of California San Diego, and is working for the World Bank in Washington DC.  We walked with him into San Gimingnano and had very interesting discussions on a number of subjects. Here is a photo of Andrie and me:

A couple of other photos from our walk today:

June 2 is a national holiday in Italy for the birth of the new republic after WW2.  So, lots of people out and about today.  Here is the definition of the holiday from wiki:

Festa della Repubblica (in English, Republic Day) is the Italian National Day, which is celebrated on the 2nd of June each year. The day commemorates the institutional referendum held by universal suffrage in 1946, in which the Italian people were called to the polls to decide on the form of government, following theSecond World War and the fall of Fascism

The skyline of San Gimignano is impressive and is often called "little Manhattan" for its medieval "skyscrapers."  There is a rich history with San Gimignano.  A little history from wiki:

San Gimignano is a small walled medievalhill town in the province of SienaTuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for itsmedieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses,[1] which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls form "an unforgettable skyline".[2] Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The "Historic Centre of San Gimignano", is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[2

Here is a view of the city as we approached it, and another from the window of our hotel room:

No question, this is a very impressive restored medieval village.  However, it reminds me a bit of going to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.  Lots of people, lots of shops selling tourist sorts of merchandise, etc.  

Last night in Gambassi Terme, we ended up going to a "party" in the town square where they had free food, music, etc.  this is the third time this has happened to us on this trip, and is always a lot of fun.  It was great to see many people at this gathering that we have met over the past week or so.

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