I decided to take a week-end off to Siena surroundings with my good friend Lisa.
We’ve been to San Gimignano, Volterra, Casole d’Elsa, Siena.
This is a recommended trip if you love the colours of the countyside, and driving gently on local roads.
That’s the best way to discover these precious little medieval cities.
Try to arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowd and the heat.
Take your time to wonder around (but you’ll need sneakers or comfortable shoes, you’ll be high in the hills).
Smell the freshness of local plants.
Make sure you have time to visit the amazing local art galleries (free entrance),
chat with the locals to get the best informations, and don’t miss the panoramic points all over,
and if you love Italian artof 1300 up to 1500 AC.
WHERE TO EAT:
Basicly everywhere, but avoid central squares to keep a low budget and try local food (pecorino, salumi) and the wine (I recommend white Vernaccia).
In San Gimignano there’s a lovely spot for wine lovers called “LA CANTINA DEL CONVENTO” http://www.lacantinadelconvento.com
WHERE TO STAY:
It depends very much on your tastes, but I’ll suggest little places outside the cities.
We stayed at Montecerboli, at Castello Nagy. Lot of quietness, intimacy, good food, great room and the owner is extremely friendly.
PLACES NOT TO BE MISSED:
At SAN GIMIGNANO:
Jewellery/Art/Design J Gallery
At VOLTERRA (Famous for Etrurian Museum and Alabastrum decorations. The local ice creams are excellent!)
At CASOLE D’ELSA
PALAZZO CHIGI SARACINI (one of the most important art academy in Italy. They have a wonderful ancient music shop at the ground floor. Have a try).
Go and have a walk at the Fortezza Medicea, surrounding of the local Cathedral, and Piazza del Campo.
See for further informations the local guides site
As a snack I recommend local pastries (like caramel cream “caramellatini”) and biscuits.
In my case the mix of nature and culture resulted perfect.
See you on the next carnet de voyage.