Club Italy Vacation 2023 Day 10

Sunday, June 11, 2023

This morning when we woke up and looked out our windows we saw hot air balloons off in the distance.

Today we visited the hilltop town of Certaldo which was situated up the hill and had medieval walls and cobbled streets. After parking the vehicles we walked to the funicular which linked the Certaldo Basso (at the bottom of the hill and the newer part of town) and Certaldo Alto (the older part of the town). The funicular railway climbed up 200m (654 ft.) and we rode it up the hill.

When we got off the funicular we looked out over the amazing scenery.

This town was famous because it was the birthplace of Giovanni Boccaccio. He was an Italian writer, poet, and scholar. Boccaccio was born in 1313 and died in 1375 in Certaldo. He was best known as the author of Decameron which was a collection of tales told by 7 women and 3 men. He wrote this at the onset of the Black Death (bubonic plague). It was considered a masterpiece of classical Italian prose. I plan on reading this book.

Certaldo was a small medieval village located halfway between Florence and Siena. It was surrounded by its defensive walls that were built in the 12th century and a watch tower still stood.

Palazzo Pretorio or Vicar’s Palace was built in the late 12th century. It’s a museum but once belonged to the vicariate families that ruled in Certaldo. The front displayed numerous coat of arms frescoed in stone and of glazed terracotta.

Palazzo Pretorio

Below are pictures from our time in Certaldo. The town was pretty quiet when we first arrived.

After spending time in Certaldo we visited Palagetto Winery which was located outside of San Gimignano. We did a wine tasting here.

We purchased wine to drink back at our B&B later. 🙂

We enjoyed our tastings and then loaded back in the vehicles to go to another winery nearby. It was the Il Colombaio Di Santachiara winery in the very small village of San Donato along the Via Francigena. The Via Francigena was the ancient road and the pilgrimage route from Canterbury in England, through France and Switzerland to Rome.

The winery Il Colombaio Di Santachiara had room for us to do a tasting of their wines. The wine tasting staffer that did our tastings was so engaging.

Our wine tasting included bread and the wineries on olive oils that they produced.

Our wine tasting staffer took us outside to view the grounds.

After this last wine tasting in San Donato we drove back to our villa to get ready for dinner!

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