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Tuscany: the final day

By Dave Snowden  ·  September 14, 2013  ·  Great places

I'd decided some time ago that I didn't want to have to pack up and then dash north to get a plane.  So I booked a hotel by the airport to allow a final day.   We headed back past Siena repeating yesterday's journey but then moved into country lanes to San Gimignano which is (rightly) the picture postcard hill town. We dropped most of the party off at the gates of the walled town and parked the van in the lowest car park, the only one with space.

The whole place lived up to its reputation including the mass of tourists and locals.  All of this was compounded by a costume parade and a wedding in the town square which added colour.  We had the best meal of the week but I only found out at the end that the restaurant did not take credit cards but I just had enough.  The fact the museum of torture was next door added an incentive to get that right.  After a very long lunch I managed to persuade son that said museum could be avoided.  Van retrieved we realised than plans to pick up another hill town were not viable so we headed for Pisa. 

Now this was a tourist spot, swarming with street salespeople, beggars and mass herds of tourists following flags and umbrellas held by their guides.  Despite this the place is special, no photographs can do justice to the physical presence of the leaning tower.  Climbing up it (again without loss of breath) was weird.  Your eyes tell you that you are going up but in fact on the leaning side you are level, then the non leading side is much steeper than your eyes tell you!  The cathedral was closed which was a pity but we were running late anyway so we decamped to the van and started the long drive.

Leaving Pisa the mountains to the north were impressive and I was starting to wish our holiday had been located there, but I can do that on a future visit.   It was a long, long drive but I stayed awake and we finally settled into the hotel with a chance to sleep in before a late morning flight back to the UK.  My one thought at the end was that I was going to miss the swimming pool in the morning.

 

San Gimignano pictures

Pisa Pictures