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Italian Adventures: Exploring San Miniato

by - Friday, January 19, 2018

Katy with white Fiat 500 in San Miniato Tuscany Italy

So back in September, we jetted off to Tuscany to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. We spent the first night in Florence, which you can read all about here.
View of San Miniato town in Tuscany, Italy framed by Tree
Once we'd had enough of the hustle and bustle of this beautiful city, we journeyed south-west to our home for the week; the little medieval town of San Miniato (above). Once we were unpacked, settled and the food shop done, we ate a simple supper of Caprese then fell into bed after our long and tiring day.

Picnic Bench in Tuscany with Breakfast Spread and Red Gingham TableclothFresh Peaches on Breakfast Table in Tuscany on Red Gingham Tablecloth 

The next morning, after an al fresco breakfast of croissants - I know, how very Italian! 😉 - and the best peaches EVER, we set about to explore the local town in our little white rented Fiat 500.

Paul Standing Outside Holiday Villa Stroking Tabby Cat in Tuscany
Katy Sitting on Boot of White Fiat 500 in Tuscan Countryside, Italy
In Car View of Driving Through Streets of San Miniato in White Fiat 500
Streets of San Miniato, Tuscany Italy
Views over Tuscan Rolling Countryside in Italy
Katy Sitting on Wall Looking Out at View Over Tuscan Countryside Italy

Views over Tuscan Rolling Countryside in Italy
Everywhere we drove, the views just got better and better. The town of San Miniato sits atop a hill, surrounded by valleys, so the views from all areas of the town are just phenomenal.
Views through brick wall of Tuscan Rolling Countryside in Italy

Beautiful Tuscan Architecture in San Miniato, Italy

Rocco Tower, San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy

Paul Stood in Front of Red Brick Wall Under Shade of Tree

And then, while strolling through the town following any route that took our interest, we found a pathway up to a tall tower above the town. After a steady climb, we arrived at the foot of the tower, known as the Rocca, to even more magnificent views than we'd already witnessed.

San Miniato cathedral and Tower of Matilde, Tuscany, Italy

The little yellow building to the very left of the photo is our villa, accessed by the stunning cyprus-lined driveway towards the centre.

Katy & Paul with San Miniato cathedral and Tower of Matilde, Tuscany, Italy in Background

We then discovered you could climb the Rocca, which of course, we couldn't not do...

Only five minutes later and we were at the top of a very windy and completely empty lookout point. There seems to be something said for visiting San Miniato in mid-September - for the whole week we found ourselves surrounded by no-one other than locals.

At the Top of Rocco Tower, San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy

And yes, the views then got even better.

View of San Miniato cathedral and Tower of Matilde with town, Tuscany, Italy

Paul Looking at Views over San Miniato Tuscany Italy

And we couldn't pull ourselves away.

View of San Miniato Town, Tuscany, Italy

Where that little white car is in the foreground, was home to the restaurant at which we had our anniversary dinner a few nights later, and opposite, a shop selling the best gelato I've ever eaten.

Katy in Hat Looking Over View of San Miniato Countryside from Rocco Tower, Tuscany, Italy

San Miniato cathedral and Tower of Matilde, Tuscany, Italy

Paul Walking down Cobbled Street in San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy

Katy Standing in Piazza in San Miniato Tuscany Italy

Paul Stood with White Fiat 500 in Front of Piazza della Repubblica

Honestly, we were so in love with this car! For the duration of our trip, she was known as 'Bianca' - and we had to get some great photos with her, of course! 

View from Window over Tuscan Countryside, San Miniato, Italy

We then walked through the town and stumbled upon a little wine bar, 'Caffe Centrale.' Having been able to see from the road that it held the best views of all the local eateries, we stepped inside, requested a table on the balcony out the back, and sat amongst a handful of locals that were whiling away the afternoon sipping coffee or wine.

Caffe Centrale, San Miniato Tuscany, Italy
We ordered a couple of glasses of chianti and just sat. Honestly, it may have possibly been my favourite moment of the whole holiday. There wasn't one sound across that vast vista, other than the odd call as a bird of prey swept past.

Two glasses of Red Chianti Wine on Balcony at Caffe Centrale San Miniato Tuscany Italy

Katy drinking Chianti Red Wine on Balcony at Caffe Centrale San Miniato Tuscany Italy

It was simply peace. In its purest, most overwhelming form. The air was fresh, the warm autumn sun was beating down upon the landscape and we felt like we had unlocked one of the earth's greatest secrets; being able to gaze upon all of that natural beauty and soak up the moment all to ourselves.

Sunset over Tuscan Countryside in San Miniato Italy

A quick run down the winding hill in the Fiat found us back at our villa and not wanting to leave the outdoors just yet. So we took our red checked table cloth, a couple of glasses and the bottle of wine that our host had given us from the very vineyard on which we were staying, and wandered down to the grassy hill beside the pool.

Katy & Paul drinking Chianti Red Wine Watching the Sunset in Tuscany, San Miniato, Italy

Nestled in amongst the olive trees, we sat and watched the sun set over the town before eventually climbing the hill to bed once we'd started to get cold.

Red Wine at Sunset in San Miniato, Tuscany, Italy

Sunset over Swimming Pool in San Miniato, Tuscany Countryside, Italy

It was just magical. And reliving it all these months later takes me right back to the sheer happiness and relaxation that San Miniato had brought us.

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