Italy Vacation – Day 8: Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti, Pisa – 9.16.13
October 4, 2013 | Travel Photography
One of our big day trips was on our second day in Tuscany/Florence area. Our long day trip took us to Siena, then to a nice vineyard in Chianti, followed by visits to San Gimignano and Pisa. A long day that offered up a lot of teases but was well worth seeing.
The bus ride took an hour to get to Siena, and our tour guide filled us in on Siena/the trip and gave a little bit background on herself as well. Her name was Olivia and reminded me of Hungarian Kristen Bell. She was light & day better than the tour guide we had for our Cinque Terre day trip, but you’ll get that rant in 2 posts from now. I hate to be in big tour groups but sometimes I break my rule so we can see a bunch of stuff in one day. The problem with doing these tours is how quick things go, and it’s almost like a tease of everything. I tried taking as many pictures as possible though, without falling too behind.
In Siena, we walked into the square area where they have that crazy horse-racing and other events in the hot summer months. We went into the cathedral there, and that was excellent to see. It felt like Beetlejuice designed the inside of it. After we were done with that, we had to head back into the square. Before getting on the bus again, I decided to film some stuff and had Kristen take a picture of me doing a cart-wheel. It just felt like the right thing to do at the time.
After Siena, we drove through the stunning countryside of Chianti and got a quick tour of a winery before eating there. I was definitely slacking behind to take pictures of the vineyard, since I could care less about all the details on how wine is made. The view from the vineyard was outstanding since it’s right across from San Gimignano. We had some pasta, cheeses and things like that and everybody else drank wine (of course). I kept leaving the table to take pictures, since it wasn’t raining. It was a bit cloudy at times during the day, so I kept taking my flannel shirt off and on. One minute I’d be hot and then I’d be chilly.
I definitely could have spent more time in Chianti area and just relaxed in the countryside. Whenever I do these vacations, I always love the countryside more than the cities. San Gimignano was up next and to this day, I still can’t pronounce it right. “San Gimini Nano” is how I keep saying it haha. The city/village/town/whatever boosts a place with “the best gelato in the world.” It was voted that twice in the last few years, but there’s another place across from them that claims best gelato too. The one with the longer line is the real deal. It was a long line and I was pissing and moaning like I always do when it comes to lines, but it went quick. There’s so many people working, and so many people ordering that standing inside this place felt like a mosh pit to me. You order and get the hell out of there. It was definitely some good gelato! We strolled around the little city and enjoyed some of the views, and goofed around and then it was off to our last spot for the tour, Pisa.
During the ride, it was raining a little bit but thankfully cleared up when we got to Pisa. We didn’t want to go up to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa because with everything else like that, why go up to the top of something when the thing you’re on is the thing you want pictures of. So Kristen and I just goofed off for an hour. Taking the typical holding up the Tower shots, along with jump shots and other things like that. It was a lot of fun. At one point, Kristen was getting ready to bump the tower with her hip, and a guy comes running over and gave her a high five. We were all cracking up laughing. After playing around, we had a quick little tour of Pisa in one of those Disney-like trains that drives in the road.
The day was so long and we were still stuffed from our lunch that we didn’t even get any dinner. We just had some delicious pastry for dinner and that held us over. Overall, it was a fantastic day even though some things felt rushed.
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Tags: Chianti, Chianti vineyard, Florence, Italy, Italy Day Trip, Nikon D800, Pisa, San Gimignano, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, travel photography, Tuscany
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