Monday we woke up to a super hot day so we decided to get an earlier start and hit the town of San Gimignano. This town is famous for its medieval “skyscrapers,” essentially tall towers that wealthy families erected to show off their wealth and outdo one another back in the day. We could see the towers from the window of our apartment, so we needed to go explore for a closer look!
It was hot and a bit crowded, but after an ice cream stop we were all revived and ready to go. The town had some cute shops and a market to explore and lots of nice look-out spots.
We had a decent lunch on the square because everyplace was crowded and this place we found was empty and had a/c…and while the food wasn’t really anything that special, this view certainly was!
We picked up some souvenirs on our way out and then headed back to spend the afternoon cooling off in the pool!
On Tuesday we were ready to sample some of those famous Tuscan wines so we booked a private morning tour and tasting at Casa Sola winery in Barberino Val d’Elsa. The tour was so informative and our guide was extremely knowledgable (and also quite accommodating with our kids in tow!) and the wines were just delicious. We had such a fun time and bought some wine to bring home with us…we opened a bottle recently and I think it tastes even better because of the happy memories! 😉
Quick bocci ball game at the winery before heading on to explore more of Chianti. We stopped in Panzano, Greve in Chianti, and Badia A Passignano for a couple more tastings, lunch, and just to wander a bit.
Then it was back to the villa for some swim time and a bbq while admiring another beautiful Tuscan sunset.
On Wednesday we spent the day at the pool because we had big evening plans to hit up the artisan festival called Mercantia in the medieval town of Certaldo. We met up with some friends of our friends who also happened to be in Tuscany for the week and took the funicular up to the ancient walled town. We had made dinner reservations at 7 and since the festival started at 8, we planned to just walk around after dinner.
Dinner was great and the views were just gorgeous. We weren’t really sure what to expect from the festival, but it was basically an artisan market with music, theater performances, and artisans selling and demonstrating their crafts. It was so well done and we were lucky that we happened to be in town for it!
We made our way to the funicular around 10:30 and the kids were just beat. We definitely could tell that we were on Italian time though as we got to the bottom of the funicular and saw a huge line of people waiting to go up…the party was just getting started! Even the playground on the walk to the car was packed with little kids and families. Ours hung as long as they could though and we were able to have a lovely evening!