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Anyone been to San Gimignano in Tuscany?

23 replies

Thomcat · 22/07/2004 14:47

We've just booked a villa there and wondered if anyone has been? Any recommendations for things to do, places to see, restaurants to eat at etc?

TC x

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Yorkiegirl · 22/07/2004 14:48

Message withdrawn

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Thomcat · 22/07/2004 15:29

Oh cheers Yorkiegirl that would be great.

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littlemissbossy · 22/07/2004 15:35

Haven't been but a good site for travel reviews is www.tripadvisor.com, just enter the place in the search for reviews in that area HTH

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Thomcat · 22/07/2004 15:36

Cheers littleMissBossy

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Thomcat · 22/07/2004 15:58

ohhh - good site MissBossy - thanks again for that

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EvanMom · 23/07/2004 08:21

We are staying in a villa there from Saturday!
Will report back.... When are you going?

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moominmama86 · 23/07/2004 08:38

I went there four years ago and absolutely loved it - it is so beautiful.

Sorry, can't remember the names of any restaurants or particular places (we were only there for the day) but it is a lovely town to just wander around in. I didn't think it was too touristy either, although it can get quite busy - it'a definitely a favourite for honeymooning couples as it's terribly romantic!

Not very helpful, I'm afraid - but am sure you will love it!

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hmb · 23/07/2004 08:43

We went 8 years ago, before we had the kids. It is wonderful. Can't remember any particular places to eat, they were all great. A day trip to Voltera (sp?) is worth it, and you should also head for Sienna if you have the chance. hell to park, but the most beautiful place. If you do go there say hi to Gallilao....he is in the catherdral .

You will have a wonderful time.

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moominmama86 · 23/07/2004 08:52

Thomcat, try www.sangimignano.com

Worth it if only for the brilliantly translated restaurant reviews...

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phatcat · 23/07/2004 09:31

ooh yes - Bel Soggiorno - a hotel but with a fantastic restaurant open to non-residents (the Blairs once had breakfast there apparently!) We had a couple of very memorable meals there. One time, for a change we ordered off the 'posh' wine list and it was served in such outrageously large glasses and so seriously that we couldn't stop laughing. Best Chianti I've ever had however.

It's also worth having a wander out of the town on the downhill side so you get to see the classic view of the town - perched on a hilltop, cypress trees in the foreground etc.

have a fab time TC!

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Thomcat · 26/07/2004 09:59

Cheers girls.
EvanMom, we leave on 7 Aug (my birthday!)

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Gingerbear · 26/07/2004 16:57

Buy lots of Vernacchio di San Gimingiano (sp?)- Local wine and heaven in a glass. Went there on a day trip over 10 years ago. Fantastic old medieval walled town with lots of old towers, one little place did wonderous icecream in the piazza. I can remember sitting in the sunshine eating a huge bowlful now.......

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Thomcat · 26/07/2004 17:13

ohh a wine recommendation - thank you!

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EvanMom · 02/08/2004 09:20

Thomcat - as promised a report back. We flew home from San Gimingnano on Saturday. We loved it! What a fantastic place.

We also managed trips to Volterra and Siena although gave Florence a miss as it was rather hot and long car journeys didn't work for the kids.

We tried some lovely wines out there. Look for signs "Vendetta Directa" and just walk in taste the wines. The best vineyards/wine we found were "Terruzzi & Puthod" and Baroncini - both near San G. We tried about 12-15 vineyards on our travels. Found a great pizza place called Bepponne (recommended to us) and we loved it and ds1 also loved the pizza. It was just off the main thoroughfare in San G. Go to the Information Centre in the centre of San G. You can pick up a map there and it has a small ad for Beppones. Proper Pizza and fab bruschetta!!
Where are you staying? We stayed in the San Lorenzo vineyard villa.....

Oh, baby changing facilities are non-existent... don't know how old your kids are so may not be a problem.

Let me know if you want any more info...

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Thomcat · 02/08/2004 11:17

You lovely lady,t ahnks for that. Glad you had a good time.
We're staying in a villa on the outskirts of the village.
Any good shops you found that a mum and her 2 year old might like?

re baby changing facilities, L is used to me making do so I'm not worried about that.

Can't wait DD's fav food is spag bol and she's partial to a bit of pizza too, I can't wait.

thanks for remembering to report back

Lots of love - TC x

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EvanMom · 02/08/2004 13:03

Shops - depends what you are looking for. San Gimingnano is full of leather shops, wine shops, bakeries and delis... and that's pretty much it. It has some lovely little places to eat and great coffee shops in the main piazza. It is a pretty small place. We were there 3 mornings out of seven and aimed to get there at around 8:30 when we managed to get fab pictures of deserted streets. It really is a beautiful place.
We spent a lot of time in one ice cream place in the main piazza (Gelateria de Piazza). It honestly does the best ice-cream in the world. Both my sons 11 months and 2 yrs loved it too. Too many flavours to try but we certainly tried most of them whilst we were there. Reckon you and a two year old could work your way through most of the flavours on the menu.....

Loads of places to visit. The church has amazing paintings and the view from the top of the biggest tower is awesome.

Supermarkets - there is a Coop just outside the city walls... (Walkable, although we took the car) and the PAM (much bigger supermarket) is in Poggibonsi which is a few miles drive outside San G.

Have a fab time... we will definitely be going back one day (preferably with a driver so we can visit EVERY single vineyard and try EVERY single wine)

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crumpet · 02/08/2004 13:28

The little cathedral in San Gimignano is fabulous - looks nothing from the outside, but inside did more from me than the Florence/Siena frescos. Have you seen the film "Tea with Mussolini" (Judi Dench, Cher, Maggie Smith etc)? It was filmed in and around San Gimignano. Hard to go wrong with food in Tuscany, especially if you try and avoid the most touristy -looking places. For ice creams, look for signs for "produzione proprieta" or "artiginale", as this means its home made.

Lovely lovely lovely area, I'm sure you'll have a great time. Also, despite knowing how Italians are with kids, I was still taken aback when I visited with dd, who was cooed over left right and centre.

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Thomcat · 02/08/2004 13:31

Agggghhhhhh, I'm SO excited now, feel giidy and like a small child!!!!!!!!!!! off to collect my eros now. Wooohhhhooooooooooooo!
Thanks for making me feel like a kid again with your tales of how lovely it is there

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Thomcat · 16/08/2004 23:25

Just p[opped back to report that it was a great holiday and to say a specila thanks as below:......

Evanmom - we all love you for making us get up and out really early to the main town. We were there at 8.30, sat drinking coffee and enjoying being the only people there, it was AMAZING. Thank you so much, we loved it so much we did that twice. So worth it, a top tip, thanks. When we left at 10, as we walked through the arch out of the town it was HEAVING and we smiled smugly and thanked you! xxxx PS, Volterra and Siena were great too.

Phatcat - OMG!!!!!! Bel Soggiorno was out of this world. Well we had the best night of the holiday there. It was just the 2 of us, we had the most amazing meal, got REALLY drunk and laughed and laughed and laughed. It was wonderful and I can't thank you enough, we'd never have thought to go in and book a table without you, and I am truly grateful. Seroiusly you don't understand how much of a top night the 2 of us had, it was really, really lovely and truly memorable. We can't remember what we were laughing at half the night but the rest was v memorable, so thanks mate xxx

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Gingerbear · 17/08/2004 06:23

Thomcat, so glad that you had a lovely time
I want to go back there now........

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EvanMom · 19/08/2004 16:50

Thomcat - I am SO glad you had a great time. Wonderful isn't it? We have some great pictures of deserted streets. I am sure dh and I will go back one day.
x x

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aloha · 19/08/2004 21:11

Been thinking enviously of you, so really pleased you had a great time. Now how did you manage a night out just the two of you???? Lucky!

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phatcat · 19/08/2004 21:19

aw TC - that's FANTASTIC - I'm really chuffed for you

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