June 20th, 2005


Certaldo Loop, Monday May 16

"The Manhattan of Tuscany"

The next morning was a leisurely loop day, only 28 km total. Even better, we got to ride without our panniers, since we were returning to Certaldo that night! We enjoyed a peaceful breakfast on the hotel's terrace. It is a beautiful little outdoor area, with a lovely view of the countryside.

Gazing across the hills, we could see a city in the distance with several towers silhouetted against the sky. Brek had told us when we noted it the previous night: That's San Gimignano, known as "The Manhattan of Tuscany". Centuries ago, it had over 70 tall towers -- not skyscrapers, but enormous stone structures likely built for dying silk. Today only 15 towers remain, but it still makes an impressive sight. Now it was our destination.
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