Friday, December 4, 2015

Pisa and San Gimignano, Italy

October 24, 2015

Today we got lucky with the weather. Beautiful sunny day, cloudless sky and perfect touring temperature. We had another tour booked with Rome In Limo and, with the help of the Roll Call on the Cruise Critic forum, there were 8 of us in the van. Stacie and Karen from our Amalfi tour were with us, plus two couples traveling together, Peter and Brenda from Maine and Rose and Trevor from Great Britain. We introduced ourselves to each other and to our driver who told us what our day would be like and asked us about thoughts for lunch. He suggested a winery in the Tuscany hills. If this interested us he had to make reservations. We all said Yes, he made the call, and we were on our way.

Our drive took us through the rolling hills of the beautiful Tuscany region. When we got to the area of Pisa with the leaning tower, we were totally caught off guard. Thinking all we'd see is this old tower sitting in a plaza, what we actually saw was this beautiful green courtyard with the tower, church and duomo. It was absolutely beautiful and we spent a lot more time there than we thought we would.

Our next stop was the winery. The cost was 30 Euros per person and while we got some food with the tasting, what we really paid for was the wine. We had samples of 14 wines, which if purchased for shipping home went as high as $131 per bottle. We also sampled extra virgin olive oil, truffle flavored olive oil and very aged balsamic vinegar. Most of the wines were red and we were all given generous samples. I am not a wine expert by any means, and prefer white, but this was certainly an interesting experience and I'm glad we did it.

From there, there more rolling hills, we headed to San Gimignano, an old walled city on a hill top, known for its many towers. We wandered there for a while, took some pictures and then back to the van for the return ride to the ship. Overall a great day giving us a feel for the beautiful Tuscany region, another item that has been on my bucket list for a long time.


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