Friday, October 23, 2015

Return to San Gimignano

The intriguing little town of San Gimignano lies inside these walls.

San Gimignano is one of our favorite Tuscan hill towns. When we last visited there in the 1990s, we bought a painting of the town showing it from a distant hill, its towers gleaming in the sun. It's been displayed in our entry hall for several years.

When we returned to San Gimignano this time, we looked for the artist's shop. But sadly, it's no longer there. Even the shop where we bought the Deruta bowls that we display in our kitchen is no longer to be found. I suppose that's typical of tourist towns. 

Make no mistake about it, San Gimignano is a tourist town! But it's one of those tourist towns you can't help but like--even if every other shop has a stuffed wild boar in front adorned with a scarf or hat. Wild boar sausage and truffles are big items there.

San Gimignano is known for its well-preserved medieval towers. A pedestrian-only village, it's a delight just to walk about its streets and narrow passageways.

Kevin searching for the artist's shop where we bought our painting.
The last time we were there, we came upon a harp concert in a courtyard, but I wasn't sure exactly where it was.

This time, I heard a recording of Loreena Mckennitt's Mask and Mirror emanating from a house nearby as I looked out a window over the valley. It was the perfect accompaniment to the view.

Later, we had a long chat with a British man and his wife while we were waiting for the bus.  He reminded me a little of the actor Bill Nighy, but "Bill" and his wife were staying just down the hill from San Gimignano, so Kevin and I were left with only our own company on the long ride home. We're used to that by now!

Still, I left San Gimignano a little sad, for I have warm memories of our previous visit with friends. Today, they live far apart with very different lives. Things change. It's the nature of life. I still enjoyed San Gimignano, but I wondered if I will see it again. Or will it too only become a faded memory?

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