Phew, it’s been a while guys. We haven’t really been able to travel too much, but the Husband finally got a weekend we could use to go somewhere. Anywhere! And we wanted to bring the dogs, so it had to be within driving distance, and not too expensive.
Tuscany it is, then.
After reading a recommendation from fellow Americani, we decided to stay at an agriturismo called Podere Val di Gallo just outside the town of Poggibonsi. Podere Val di Gallo is a little family-owned villa that has been turned into apartments; it’s a great spot to relax, heave a sigh, and soak in the view.
Here it is below, nestled into one of the typical rolling hills of Tuscany.
If you decide to stay, Elisa is the one you want to talk to – she speaks English. They do NOT take cards there, so get your cash out. Oh, and your GPS won’t be able to find it, because they literally don’t have an address. They’re on an unnamed road. So good luck on that.
Despite the challenges, Podere Val di Gallo couldn’t have been a better place for our weekend, and our dogs. We discovered a little trail behind the house that turned into a small hike (even I could do it without getting completely out of breath, so you know it had to be easy). It led to the top of the hill and of course, another vineyard, and more stunning views of the Tuscan countryside. Better yet, there was San Gimignano in the distance.
And then you’re forced to pose for a crummy picture by your dumb parents.
We only had one full day in wine country, and it rained. all. damn. day. Honestly, it didn’t stop once. This was the view from our window until the sun set. —–>
I decided we’d be better off going to San Gimignano on the way home the next day (forecast: 0% chance of rain). We could have dealt with the drizzle on our own, but not with two soggy, miserable dogs.
San Gimignano is supposed to be one of the most Tuscan towns in Tuscany, and I very much wanted to see it. And I suppose I kinda did.
But it was not exactly ideal. Oh, the weather was gorgeous – couldn’t have been better! And even if you don’t want to see San Gimignano, you should drive there anyway because it’s breathtaking (and only about 20 minutes). Here is the road on the way:
Finally, we reached San Gimignano and followed signs to the parking lots. After what seemed like several hours (or years) of frustration, we realized that it wasn’t going to happen. There was some kind of race going on; cyclists and runners were all over the place, as well as people directing traffic. And the parking…. Lord, as if parking in Italy wasn’t bad enough. People were parked on the sides of the road even leading up to the town! (Red flag. We should have just given up then.) The parking lots kept faking us out saying LIBERO (free spaces) when they were actually COMPLETO (completely fucking full). Apparently the race was a big deal.
What should have been an enjoyable day in San Gimignano turned into us getting irritated and impatient, and most of all, HANGRY. Luckily, the Husband had looked up restaurants the day before, and we were determined to try Taverna Bibbiano because the food was supposed to be amazing and the view of San Gimignano couldn’t be beat.
More frustration. Our GPS (car and phone) could not seem to find it. Finally after driving around aimlessly on winding back roads, we stumbled upon it. According to their website, they should have been opening in 5 minutes. I poked my head in and said, “Aperto per cena?”
No, silly American! They wouldn’t be open for at least another 45 minutes. In fact, it looked like they were setting up for a wedding or something. I took my damn pictures of the damn view of damn San Gimignano from their damn yard, and we got in the car and plugged our GPS in for home. Screw it.
We came. We saw. We GTFO.