Volterra and San Gimignano, Italy


Last Sunday we headed out on another adventure around the Tuscany hills! We made sure not to get up too early because we didn’t want to be crabby for the trip! So we climbed into Lorenzo’s brand new Mini around 11am. Volterra was only about an hour and half drive so it didn’t make a lot of difference if we left early. We drove through the beautiful hills of Tuscany and up a lot of winding roads.

When we got to Volterra we were surprised to see the snow piled up on the sides of the streets but just figured it was because of the higher altitude. We found a cute little Trattoria called “Il Pioggio” which means some form of “the hil” and we ate lunch there. It was really amazing, we had a mixed bruschetta plate, tagliatelle pasta with mushroom and truffle sauce and then percorino cheese (Ewe’s milk cheese–my FAVORITE thing) with honey. Then we had a pineapple cake and coffee to finish! It was really amazing for such a hidden and random place, but that’s the point in Italy! 🙂

After that we went on a walk through the streets and park of Volterra and Lorenzo found out from talking to some locals that it had snowed for 36 hours straight on Tuesday! So it was not normal for them to have so much snow, but there had been a bad storm. We enjoyed the quiet walk and the little authentic Italian town before we headed on to San Gimignano.

San Gimignano is apparently a big tourist attraction for it’s location on the hills, the authentic ‘old Italian’ town and it’s gelato! I had never heard of it before Lorenzo brought it up a few days earlier, but I trust him and he knows what he is talking about when it comes to Italy so I said ok (I really wanted to go to Sienna–but that’s still to come!).

San Gimignano is the cutest little town. It is up high on top of the hills and you can see it sitting up there like a giant walled castle as you are driving up the street. We reached it around 4pm and it was full of Italians and tourists alike. We walked into the main square and sat on the edge of the giant well that sits in the center. There were plenty of people there enjoying gelato and the sunshine and plenty of adorable little kids chasing pigeons. We decided we couldn’t wait anymore so we went for the gelato.

San Gimignano-old Italian villages

This gelatoria is supposedly really famous, but of course i don’t remember the name of it. It had won a lot of awards and other people I have met have heard about it. We had to try the chocolate because that’s what they are so famous for. I also had the yogurt flavor (which was a little sour for me, I prefer ‘panna’ or cream) and Lorenzo had cinnamon, which he didn’t like. So, I guess my advice is to definitely try it but have the chocolate gelato!

After this we attempted to walk to the spot where there is a really great view but we somehow ended up on this little goat trail that was running along the back of residents houses and we were so distracted talking about heritage and culture that we didn’t realize what we were doing and suddenly found ourselves back at the parking lot. At this point we shrugged and decided that it was better to head home since it was going to start getting dark. So, San Gimignano… I’ll be seeing you again sometime!