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Today we woke up to another stunning Tuscan day, breakfasted on the patio in the sun,  and then off to San Gimignano. The brochures would have us believe that this town has succumbed to the tourist dollar but we found it utterly charming. There is a long history concerning family feuds etc and this history is reflected in the town with quite a bit of pomp and splendour despite the tourist throngs. Each part of the town is gaily decked with coloured flags, flowers, musicians playing and artists sitting on the pavement painting, drawing etc (but please not to take photos!). Frances and I have become very fond of the red poppies we see everywhere and it is hard to decide which piece of art to bring home.  The architecture is mind-boggling, with huge towers, tiny alley ways, grand squares (though not on the scale of Il Campo in Siena), which are lined with bustling cafes, ristorante, etc.  There is a medieval torture museum but we resisted that temptation… These hilltop  villages offer the most amazing photo opportunities and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside,  and  my camera is full to the brim.

I tried my first Prosecco today and I am rather fond of it. Am about to have another as I write this in the Radicondoli cafe which provides internet access.  One thing we have discovered in this charming small town is how generous and warm the people are. We have met with nothing other than warm, smiling help at our bungling attempts with the language, thought I must say, I am improving rapidly and enjoying making myself understood. I had a little visit to the Dr here yesterday who had no English,  but we managed, and then he refused to let me pay him!! I am sure that wouldn’t happen at home. Likewise the elderly gent who runs the Alimentare here, insisted on giving us samples of the salami we wanted before we bought. These are just small things but they colour your impression of places… we love this place and already want to come back. Ciao for now….