Saturday, February 20, 2010

italy's practical jokes.

I feel that it was inevitable. From the moment they showed us the picture of the World Champion Gelateria at orientation on the second day of the program, I knew that I was destined to find it. Despite the fact that API led us to believe it was in Florence, we disovered its true location: a small town in the Chianti region called San Gimignano, also known for its medeival towers and atmosphere.

We took the train from Santa Maria Novella station in Florence to...

We caught a bus from Poggibonsi.

We immediately headed for a restaurant after arriving in San Gimignano. I ordered the pesto pasta (delicious!) and we all split a bottle of red wine. We were, after all, in Chianti, Italy's most famous wine region. Sam and I downed most of it, and I was definitely in a good mood after lunch. Our next mission at this point was to find the Gelateria!

Of course, not one thing can go entirely smoothly for us here in Italy. We found the gelateria with ease (it was right around the corner from where we had lunched) but it was closed...until March 7. What a cruel, cruel joke.

We found consolation gelato next door. It was good, but tasted like sloppy seconds. We are already planning a trip back to San Gimignano to get the real thing. We will not be thwarted by Italy's penchant for throwing wrenches into our carefully-laid plans.

We were kind of at a loss for what to do in San Gimignano after our gelato bust, so we just wandered a little bit. Fit in a workout here and there.

The view from the town down onto the vineyards surrounding it was absolutely stunning. I couldn't really capture any truly great shots, because the lighting was kind of weird (due to the storm that was rolling in...more on that later) and because the details were so small. But take my word for it: if you ever have an extra day in Tuscany, San Gimignano is worth it just for the views.

When we got bored with wandering, we did a bit of shopping! Sam and I each purchased a bottle of San Gimignano's best (Sam thought she was getting red, but we both ended up with white. Whoops.) and then I also purchased a little dish that had been hand-painted in the city. Cute.
At this point, the wind was picking up, and it was starting to rain. I, always being prepared, had an umbrella on hand. But Sam and Gillian decided to purchase some cheap umbrellas from a shop on our way out of the city. You see how that decision turned out for them.

The umbrellas turned inside out within MINUTES of their purchase. Sam later stuffed hers angrily into a trash can, haha. While all of this was going on, we were attempting to figure out when the next bus would take us back to Poggibonsi. While we waited, nearly freezing to death, we made up songs, played ISpy, and generally complained about the weather. We were all extremely glad to see the bus when it finally arrived. Unfortunately, the train was about as cooperative as the weather. It ended up being delayed 25 minutes, meaning we spent over an hour at the train station, just staring at the wall and wishing we could be asleep.
An exhausting and somewhat frustrating day, but as usual, made better by wine, gelato, and our own ridiculous antics. Stay tuned for San Gimignano, part 2....I have a feeling you will all be made quite jealous by my ranting and raving about the world's best gelato.


  1. Hey, I think that umbrella was worth it just for the entertainment value.

  2. Your gelato cone looks like a "unicone" of some kind hahaha i crack myself up. Sounds like you try to make the best of all your situations. Love the commentary keep it up <3 mom