Subject: Re: day out in Chianti
Hi Deb,

One New Year's Day we drove out from Florence, taking my husband's mother ( on her first trip out of the USA) with us to see San Gimignano. Well, all of the Italians in the area had the very same idea on this sunny first day of the year, and we drove around the town several times looking for parking, unsuccessfully.

So we headed off into the countryside, and saw a perched village in the distance. Decided to drive towards it, and found a little gem of a place - tiny, hilltop Certaldo Alto, with a gorgeous frescoed medieval town hall and a few artisans shops, and not much else. Definitely an undiscovered jewel! After uncounted trips to Tuscany, we finally DID see San Gimignano this past December, and realized that, although it truly is over-hyped, it is definitely worth its press coverage, and we'd even like to go back and spend more time there.

Other Chianti towns we've enjoyed are Castellina in Chianti (don't miss the ice cream shop on the north side of town if you go there!), with it's vaulted street and impressive piazza and church, and Greve in Chiati with its beautiful market square filled with marvelous food and artisan shops.

Enjoy- Anne in Virginia (always ready for another visit to Italy!)