A visit to San Gimignano
- San Gimignano - MUST visit!
A spectacular hill top town in Italy, the setting for the film “Tea with Mussolini”.
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Our starting point for this trip is Camping Internazionale in Florence. This is not ideal for San Gimignano sightseeing but it is achievable. There is no direct bus link from Siena to Florence – it is necessary to change buses in Poggibonsi. However there are places to stay nearer to San Gimignano – see below.
It is often said that San Gimignano is home to the world’s oldest skyscrapers! Certainly, as the bus draws nearer to the town, the “towers” appear in view.
We had a lovely afternoon exploring the town but only then did our troubles start! We made our way to the bus stop and noted the queue was HUGE. I estimated about eighty people to be waiting, so even with a 50 seat bus on the route, plus standees, some would be left behind. The bus drew in and it was like a scene from Ken Dodd’s last panto – pushing, shoving, aggression – and that was only from the Italian pensioners!
We decided not to bother with that bus and so with a group of American tourists we waited for the next bus that was only 45 minutes later. Apparently, some of the Americans had been trying for three hours to leave San Gimignano, but the buses were either not showing or were full. It seemed that many people had read the time-table wrong and were expecting a bus that did not come. This was due to the timetable stating “not Saturdays” but of course many tourists do not understand the Italian language used on the timetables! We joked with the Americans and said we had been trying to leave for three weeks!
Another bus rolled in and we piled on, getting off at Poggibonsi for the connection back to the campsite. Guess who was in the queue at Poggibonsi – the same four, frail old ladies who were quite capable of being aggressive and pushing and shoving. I suspect that last bus to Florence had been full and left them behind! Ah – serves them right for pushing in at San Gimignano!
Our trip on four buses and coaches cost only 7.10 euro. However, I think we were undercharged somewhere!
San Gimignano sightseeing – where to stay
There is a campsite close to San Gimignano. Click here for details. There is also some motorhome parking available in San Gimignano, but this is overly expensive.