Wednesday, I rode a bike from Certaldo to San Gimignano. San Gimignano is a tourist hot spot. Busses from Firenze, Siena and Pisa come every hour and dump tourists. An Irish, Greg, and the two Texans, Dana and Warren, had gone the day before. All said that San Gimignano itself wasn’t anything special, but the walk/bike ride was very scenic. San Gimignano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Greg the Irish took a bike to get there, while the Texans decided to walk. It’s 9km from Certaldo, mostly uphill. In the end, I decided to take the bike… with no suspension.
When I first passed through the large stone doors onto la Via San Matteo, there was a funeral procession taking place. Once they had passed, along came the mob of tourists. In Italy, there are no shortages of nuns.
Before the black plague, San Gimignano was powerhouse to be reckoned with. To show off its wealth, 72 towers were built. Once the plague wiped out most of its population, it plummeted, economically speaking. There only 14 towers that remain in San Gimignano.
Looking down la Via San Matteo. Via San Matteo is the main street in San Gimignano. It is lined with tourist boutiques selling “I (heart) Italia” t-shirts and other random, useless souvenirs.
On my way back to Certaldo, I passed this castle. I think it’s a hotel.
From afar, San Gimignano and its towers look Manhattan with its skyscrapers.
The bike ride to and from San Gimignano was a well-needed work-out, but also a very beautiful bike ride. The city itself is jam-packed with tourists and I personally don’t see anything interesting about it. I only stayed in San Gimignano long enough to buy postcards and eat a slice of pizza. The most beautiful part of San Gimignano is looking at it from 10km out.
Until next time,