terzo giorno, SAN GIMIGNANO
San Gimignano welcomed us with buckets of rain. With only one umbrella between us, we took refuge in a toy store. Once Ouisie began to redecorate the place, we bought a new dolly to warrant our visit, smiled graciously to the store clerk and dove back into the deluge. We opted for an early lunch in hopes of riding out the storm.
After a few wrong turns and many puddles of water later, we stepped into Dal Bertelli’s tiny sandwich shop with rain dripping off our coats onto the pristine white tiled floors. One table set for four and the owner, Sig, seated expressionless behind the counter welcomed us.
A heavy metal Italian song screeched on the radio as Sig explained, in Italian, the choice of two salamis for a sandwich with the option of one type of cheese and one loaf of unsalted white bread. We pointed to our preferred salami and watched him prepare the orders from our private dining room set for four. We knew straight away, Sig was a man in no great hurry.
One thickly cut slice of salami. One thickly cut slice of cheese. Wrap salami and cheese and place back in display cabinet. Open sliced bread.

Place two slices of bread on first plate. Then onto second plate. Salami on bread. Cheese on salami. Bread on top. Plate sandwich one. Then second sandwich. Glance at customers to collect. 
The three of us ate lunch with Sig Bertilli sipping his wine on a stool behind the counter. The Bertilli family have lived in San Gimignano since 1779. A photograph of a younger Sig from the 70’s hung framed on the wall.

With sandwiches polished off and the rain stopped, we left Sig sitting patiently behind the counter waiting for the next customer and another heavy metal song blaring away. I suppose after 233 years of your family being in the same village, why rush?

We meandered towards the centre of the village and with Ouisie begging for cream we headed to Gelateria di Piazza. Serio Dondoli is the Master of the gelato at this popular spot. Don’t be surprised if the queue is winding down the piazza!  We all tried different flavours and enjoyed our connis in the adjoining Piazza della Cisterna.

We did not seek out any of the tourist sites and just enjoyed meandering through its hilly roads. Originally an Etruscan village, it is best known for its tall towers that create a medieval skyscraper landscape. The towers were built during the 12th century as private residences by prominent and affluent families. The taller the tower, the more wealth you boasted. Perhaps those original residents should be credited with developing the modern day Penthouse?

I found it interesting how even then, the number of floors depicted an individual’s wealth and social status. Today of the 72 towers, just 14 remain and only the Torre Grossa tower can be climbed. With our daughter in tow, we skipped the 17 story walk up.

♥ ♥ ♥

 staring up at the village’s magnificent towers ♥  Sig’s slow pace

♥ taking in the gorgeous views of the valleys below the city 

primo giorno, SIENA

secondo giorno, PANZANO and GREVE IN CHIANTI

terzo giorno, SAN GIMIGNANO

quarto giorno, PIENZA

cinque giorno a otto giorno, FIRENZE