We managed the planned towns today – Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino and Siena. All have one characteristic in common, traffic restricted in centre so you have to park and walk. Then you find you’re dodging cars and bikes in the walking streets the whole time. Bit annoying really.
I found Siena a big disappointment, nice square, very nice cathedral, forget the rest. Tried to find restaurant away from main square, couldn’t find one so got ripped off for crappy pizza. Shops nothing special. Oppressive streets. Frankly, I wouldn’t bother.
Pienza was the nicest place, rather surprisingly. Compact, cute and stinking of yummy cheese (for which the town is renowned). Pius 2, or his architect, did a pretty good job. Although I’d love to have brought some home, the thought of a cheesy car for the next few days put me off.
Next best was Montepulciano although there seemed to be no streets with less than an Everestian incline. Montalcino didn’t get much time as people were tired and sleepy so I just did a rapid solo walk and then we left.
Both the Monts are famous for their wines, Nobile and Brunello, and there are small vineyards all around. I bought some of each for a Tuscan evening or two back home. Average price for a decent bottle was €20.
Strange climate here, although it gets up to 35C during the day it is more uncomfortable when the sun goes down. Humidity increases and the breeze dies down. Hard to sleep in such weather, even with a fan blowing
Plans for next two days on hold awaiting a test of family ‘sentiment’ tomorrow morning. I think we are all a bit tired but Florence looms like a great aunt who really must be visited.
Bit lazy with the Blackberry photos today, sorry!