Europe, Travels, Tuscany
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A Taste of Tuscany, Part 3: San Gimignano and Siena

One of the things that I totally fell in-love with in Tuscany are the gigantic sunflowers along the road. From Lucca to San Gimignano, hubby and I decided to take the more scenic road, suggested by the Lolo owner of the hotel in Lucca. And indeed, we passed by a lot of sunflower fields. We couldn’t help but stop by one of them and take some pictures.

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These sunflowers are bigger than my head

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The picturesque drive to San Gimignano — I took this pic with the car moving. That’s the village at the top of the hill.

San Gimignano is a fortified city at the top of a hill. From down below, it looked so quiet and peaceful and desolate. But upon climbing the hill and getting past the walls, I was surprised to find that it was quite touristy. It was a bit of a steep climb, though. But the view from below is very picturesque. We had to stop several times on the way, to take some pictures of the surrounding hills.

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The cathedral at the piazza

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Lovely earthenwares at a souvenir shop

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I totally love this flowerful facade

From outside the wall, you wouldn’t have guessed that it would be a bustling city, filled with tourists inside. In fact, there were plenty of shops selling wine, olive oil, crockery, cheese and souvenir items. It was quite a challenge to walk up and down and around this fortified city, especially since it was nearing lunch time when we arrived and I was starting to be famished.

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At Ristorante La Mandragola

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The Entrée

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This was the best dessert I had in all of Tuscany

Thankfully, with a little bit more walking, we found a nice and quiet restaurant, called, Ristorante La Mandragola (The Mandrake Restaurant), recommended by our Lonely Planet guide book. It had a quiet terasse, but it was a little bit too hot to be sitting there at lunch time. Nevertheless, the service was really nice and we totally enjoyed the food and the wine.

After lunch, we walked around a bit more to see the souvenir shops, and then headed straight to Siena.

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Our charming hotel in Siena

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Siena Cathedral, a few minutes before the clouds gathered and it started to drizzle

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Dinner and the view

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Seafood for dinner

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A small church in one of the corners of Siena

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Our favorite Spritz at Piazza del Campo on our last day in Siena

I would have to say that Siena is one of the really most beautiful old cities I have visited in Europe. This is probably why there are a lot of Hollywood movies shot in this location. It is difficult to find a boring corner in this place. Everything is just magical and beautiful.

Hubby and I spent a couple of days in Siena. On our second day, we took half the day driving to the Chianti Region for a vineyard visit, wine-tasting and lunch… and this is what I will talk about on the last installment of my Tuscany Road Trip posts.

I hope you enjoy going down memory lane with me this weekend. Thanks again for dropping by and have a good day! 🙂

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3 Comments

    • That’s great! I really didn’t go inside as they make you pay to enter the church, which I found really weird. I can understand paying for the museum, but to just go inside the church/cathedral, I think it’s a bit strange.

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