Uhoh, it’s been a couple days since I last blogged. I might forget some details…but here goes!

*Two quick things: see, I told you I would forget, I’m adding this stuff after I’ve already published this post:

1. Note the deterioration of our hair bounciness as the trip progressed. This was due to the lack of conditioner in the hotels. For some reason Italians seem to think hand soap is ok to wash hands, body, face, and hair with.

2. A couple days after we got our car, we decided to turn on the radio. We discovered that our car actually came with a very sophisticated built in GPS system. So we were cruising along, listening to the radio when I said “you know, this radio station really loves the Bee Gees! The last 7 songs were Bee Gees songs!” Aaron pressed the eject button, and a CD labeled “Bigis” came out.

The next morning, we had coffee and apple tart for breakfast next to our hotel:

The little cafe where we ate. We actually sat on the opposite side of the street where they had big umbrellas. I forgot to take a picture...

The little cafe where we ate. We actually sat on the opposite side of the street where they had big umbrellas. I forgot to take a picture. Our hotel is one or two doors down from where that car is parked on the left.

I look fly.

I look fly.

As does Aaron.

As does Aaron.

The piazza in the day time:

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We saved going to Montepulciano’s wine house for our last morning there. Here are some wines we liked:

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Us in the hotel parking lot that took us 4 tries to get there the first day:

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Warning: lovey doviness coming up. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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We drove to San Gimignano, about 90 minutes north of Montepulciano and arrived at our hotel. It was a bit of an ordeal because I didn’t want to go through the driving fiasco we went through in Montepulciano. We got to the town center of San G and immediately I was a little annoyed. It was flowing with tourists, and our hotel was inside the town center. We parked the car outside of the town center and went to the tobacco store to find our hotel owner, following the instructions he emailed us. I was apprehensive about the hotel but went along. We got our luggage from our car, and proceeded to walk back into the town center. By the time we got to the hotel I was drenched in sweat. The hotel room was pretty clean but very cramped, and RIGHT outside was the breakfast room, which I can’t imagine to be very quiet in the morning. We decided to eat before making a decision.

We went to a restaurant suggested by our hotel manager. It was, probably, the best restaurant thus far in the trip:

Trattoria Chiribiri

Piazza della Madonna 1

San Gimignano 53037, Italy

0577/941948

First off, it was very reasonably priced. Across the street from the restaurant was a very traditional small blacksmith shop with really ornate door knockers. The shop owner was standing outside conversing jovially with passer-bys. We walked into the restaurant down half a flight of stairs. The restaurant is very small, probably about 8-10 tables. We were the only people there because it was already 3:00, but the waitress was very friendly and welcomed us in. Oh, another thing to note about Italian restaurants is that most of them have a 1.5 to 2 euro cover charge, kind of like clubs in the States. Isn’t that odd? Anyway, the inside of the restaurant was kind of like a bomb shelter, but very warm and cozy, with no windows aside from the glass door. The inside of the restaurant has murals and is painted as if you are outside. It was an interesting juxtaposition.

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We shared the lingua, which is ox tongue. You would not believe how delicious it is. It is on a bed of cabbage and thinly sliced greens. The lengua is served hot, with a vinegrette sauce. I have never tasted this combination, and I am dying to find the recipe.

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Not sure why the image is a little pixelated...my hands my have been shaking in excitement. And covered in drool.

Aaron got the lasagna. Nothing like the lasagna in the States. It don't know what it is...the tomato sauce is very fine, not chunky like in the states. And the pasta is thinner...and I don't think I saw ricotta cheese. I must try to make it.

Aaron got the lasagna. Nothing like the lasagna in the States. I don't know what it is...the tomato sauce is very fine, not chunky like in the States. And the pasta is thinner...and I don't think I saw ricotta cheese. I must try to make it.

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This is risotto. I tasted it and thought "if THIS is what risotto is supposed to taste like, I have been making it completely wrong!" The rice was a bigger grain of rice and the texture was a bit harder. It was pretty salty but very flavorful!

If THIS is what risotto is supposed to taste like, I have been making it completely wrong! The rice was a bigger grain of rice and the texture was a bit harder. It was pretty salty but very flavorful!

Apparently I was still hungry. I forgot about this! I also got sliced grilled steak with whole peppercorns, onions, and cabbage. It WAS SO GOOD!!!!! Sorry I will stop.

Apparently I was still hungry. I forgot about this! I also got sliced grilled steak with whole peppercorns, onions, and cabbage. It WAS SO GOOD!!!!!

This picture looked pretty disgusting on the small screen of my camera, but looks pretty good here!

This picture looked pretty disgusting on the small screen of my camera, but looks pretty good here!

Aaron and I were talking about something, and he nodded and I nodded. Then he shook his head and I shook my head. This went on for about ten minutes until Aaron said “wait. Can you not shake your head if I’m nodding?” The whole time I thought we were just playing the shadow game where one person imitates the other person until the other person explodes from annoyance. So I went along and said I couldn’t. Aaron then proceeded to try to “train” me to do the opposite of what he was doing. We did this for about 20 or 30 more minutes until I let him in on the joke. Here is his reaction:

Awww. Poor baby!

Awww. Poor baby!

I can already see the eye rolls coming, but after the main course, we got another order of the lengua. The waitresses had a good laugh!

Some flowers I thought were cool looking:

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Not sure what kind of berries this is. Olives?

Not sure what kind of berries this is. Olives?

We drove around the town, looking at different vineyards for a place to stay, and ended up at Torre Prima, a small farm house with very clean and cheap rooms! We drove up to the farm with a couple workers plowing the fields. A man came up to us and I asked if he had any rooms. He nodded and I asked how much. He spoke almost no English, and miraculously I remembered how to say price in Italian. He held up ten fingers and we exchanged confused glances. His wife spoke a bit more English and after a lot of “90?” “50.” “15?” “50.” We confirmed that the room was indeed 50 euros and after seeing the room and views, we were sold. There were also some friendly British visitors there.

Torre Prima

Località Cortennano La Torre 17,
53037 S.Gimignano (SI), Italy
Tel/Fax +39 0577 941371

And for future references, do NOT stay at this place:

palazzo al torrione
via Berignano,76 53037  SAN GIMIGNANO (Siena)
TEL.: 0577 940480
CEL.: 338 9381656

We had to go back to Palazzo al Torrione to explain to them that we were not going to stay there. Aaron and I brainstormed for explanations and concluded with “our parents want us to meet them in Florence, so we need to leave now and we wont’ be able to stay the night here.” which I thought was pretty good. Later that night when we were walking around the town center, we imagined what we would say if we bumped into the hotel owner…something like “Our parents…died…? and said their last wish was for us to immediately go back to San Gimi…g…na…no…” I still do not know how to pronounce the name of that town!

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Our room on the first floor.

Our room on the first floor.

The pristine pool with a view

The pristine pool with a view

Aaron taking it all in.

Aaron taking it all in.

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The inside:

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Kitchenette with stove top!

Kitchenette with stove top!

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We drove back to the town center near early dinner time, around 6 p.m., and stopped by small cheese and wine shops.I had a caffe d’orzo (expresso made with barley). SO good. I bought some back, and now I just need a cappucino machine to make it. Ahem. Anyhoodles, we then went back to the same restaurant again because it was just that good.

Here is the restaurant at night.

Here is the restaurant at night.

You guys ready for the menu?

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Steak tar tar covered in melted goat cheese sauce. I didn't really like it but it's because I don't like goat cheese. Aaron thought it was very good (obv!).

Steak tar tar covered in melted goat cheese sauce. I didn't really like it but it's because I don't like goat cheese. Aaron thought it was very good (obv!).

Porcini mushrooms with linguini egg noodles. Their pasta tasted very different than other restaurants. I think they make the pasta in house. The porcini mushrooms were the most fragrant mushrooms I have had other than the shitake. When we were at this restaurant the first time, a pair of Korean tourists ordered this dish and I smelled it across the room. It tasted as good as it smelled! I'm having a hard time finding this mushroom in the States. I know I can get them at Whole Foods, but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg buying mushrooms...

Porcini mushrooms with linguini egg noodles. Their pasta tasted very different than other restaurants. I think they make the pasta in house. The porcini mushrooms were the most fragrant mushrooms I have had other than the shitake. When we were at this restaurant the first time, a pair of Korean tourists ordered this dish and I smelled it across the room. It tasted as good as it smelled! I'm having a hard time finding this mushroom in the States. I know I can get them at Whole Foods, but I don't want to spend an arm and a leg buying mushrooms...

Creme caramel, or what we know as flan. But oh so much better!!

Creme caramel, or what we know as flan. But oh so much better!!

More excitement, coming up later! For now, good night!

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