Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter trip - Day 4 - Massa Marittima, San Galgano, and back to Florence

After packing up the tent, we drove back to Florence today. However, we didn't take the fast, direct route, but stopped at a couple of places on the way. The first stop was Massa Marittima, a hilltop city (nothing maritime about it...) with a gorgeous Romanesque cathedral. We briefly walked around the city, then drove onward through the countryside along some quite windy roads to the former abbey of San Galgano. This abbey was abandoned in the 18th century, and nowadays only the walls remain, making it an interesting place to explore. Nearby is the Montesiepi chapel on the place where San Galgano built a hermit hut and rammed his sword into the stone in his rejection of war (you can still see the sword in the stone).
By this time we were quite hungry, so we stopped nearby for lunch in a restaurant located in a hilltop castle. It was a bit expensive after our economic camping trip, but the scenery, view and good food justified the expense. Finally we bypassed Siena and took another curvy road through the Chianti, stopping in Greve in Chianti to visit the Antica Macelleria Falorni, a fabulous butcher's shop where you can get all kinds of salami, prosciutto, cheese, etc. as well as the largest wine shop in the Chianti. From there it was only a short trip back to Florence, with some mad traffic as we crossed town back to our apartment.

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