Well I thought I would continue with some more from our Candelaria Design Tour Italy – Trip 13 now that I am back and have a few moments with my morning coffee out in the garden!
As you likely figured out by reading the blogs from the first eight days of our journey we were definitely celebrating Trip 13 and Day 9 continued the saga! Today we usually go to San Gimignano and then Siena but rain was in the forecast and both towns require a fair amount of driving from our remote farmhouse location in Umbria.
So we got up and set our google pins in everyone’s phone or gps to my favorite parking spot in San Gimignano – which no matter when I have come is always packed and full and this year even with the threat of rain the lot was full when we arrived.
The drive as you approach San Gimignano is always so picturesque as you occasionally get a far off vignette view of the towers of this medieval treasure with farm or sunflower fields as your foreground. It’s quite magical.
Using teamwork we were able to get the four parking spaces we needed. From there is was a short walk of course uphill to the village. San Gimignano is always one of the favorites of my travelers and it is a wonderful place to experience any time of the year as we were also here during the Holidays with my girls who loved it.
We made our way down the main thoroughfare to our lunch spot, the Ristorante - Bel Soggiorno http://www.ristorante-belsoggiorno.it/new/ which I discovered while exploring on last year’s trip. Of course they were not quite opened even though we had called ahead for reservations. I had all but two of my travelers, who chose to catch up with some friends traveling in the Chianti area. As we waited, of course the rain came…..We pitched our umbrellas and waited for the restaurant to open.
The view from the Bel Soggiorno restaurant is spectacular only to be outdone by the food which again was off the charts. From our nice lunch we did a little shopping and the rain just kept coming harder and harder.
We reconvened the group to make our way back to the cars where we contemplated our next destination, Siena….but I could feel my travelers had had it with the rain and driving and if we went to Siena we would not get out of there until late therefore likely driving in the rain in the darkness….The decision was made – we would head home and back to the farmhouses for a relaxing evening….or so I thought!
The drive home is about an hour and a half and the rain was coming down pretty good but we all made it safely home and I was looking forward to a quiet evening as it was nice to be home early and enjoy some time in the country houses. Well so I thought…..
The ladies traveling as a group had enough of the country and the rustic nature of being out in the Umbrian hills, the rain, and the driving and they were ready for the ambiance and services that would be provided by the Villa d’Este on Lake Como. Problem is we still had one more day in the country – but the woman were ready to go now!
So with some calls and research on the website we were able to get rooms a day early for the ladies and they would drive off the next morning. So I had two travelers off with friends in the Chianti area, and now five more would be leaving so I was now down to seven of 14 travelers! Well that’s the beauty of the trip – you have your own car and can choose to create your own itinerary and this group definitely embraced that opportunity!
The rest of us made use of our left over, made a fire and enjoyed the quiet of the country.