Backpacking,  Camping,  Hiking in Europe,  Hiking in Italy,  Via Francigena

Discovering the most beautiful medieval town of Italy – San Gimignano | Day 7 of Via Francigena

It was the 7th day of Via Francigena trail when we hiked around 15 kms from Gambassi Terme to the town San Gimignano.

We had another quiet night in the Toscanian fields between the vineyards and the only thing that we heard were the sounds of some deers from the closest little forest. But they didn’t really approached us and we haven’t seen them close.

We had our delicious oats for breakfast and were good to start the trail. We knew that this is going to be a shorter day because we wanted to stop at the nearest campsite – first that we met in several days and it was in 15kms.

The sun was striking our heads starting from the early morning and we were super hot doing the first uphill for the day. Overall we saw that the relief started to be more hilly and the mountains looked higher so it may be more challenging trail to walk in the next days.

All day long we continued to enjoy the views of the beautiful Toscana fields with plenty of vineyards and olive trees and cute houses on top of the hills.

First part of the trail was going mostly uphill and was on a quiet dirt car road. But the second half coming closer to San Gimignano it started to go on a pavement car road again with little to no shadow. And these parts we hated the most – the mix of hot weather, no shadow, uphill and the car road was always killing for us.

On the way there were quite a lot of backpackers hiking the second day around but we didn’t really know were they doing a long way or just several day hiking.

When we were getting closer to San Gimignano we saw the unusual picture of the old village. It was all sandy colours made of rock and had several high towers around it. When we got closer and entered it we realized that it probably was a fortified medieval town back then with a rock wall surrounding all the village. Then in the Internet we learnt that this village was one of the best conserved medieval towns in the whole Italy and maybe even Europe. And the towers that were a specialty of this village were built by the wealthy people at that time and it was kind of a competition between them. Probably because of that the streets of the village were very crowded with tourists and tourist guides and it was full of artisanal, souvenir shops and art galleries. We didn’t like the fact that it was so busy, so probably visiting it out of the high season would be a better idea.

We saw that there was a supermarket close to the village so we headed there to buy some pizza and ice cream to have a snack. We had a nice break in the shadow in the local park eating the delicacies of Italy and then went out in the direction of the campsite.

Campsite was situated in 2 kms from the town and it was all downhill so it was easy to get to fortunately. We were happy that we had a short day today because the heat was absolutely killing and almost with no wind it was super extreme conditions.

So we checked in to the campsite that of course wasn’t cheap at all as every place in the high season. But at least it was nicely situated on the side of the hill a bit far from the car road and had a special flattened spots for the tents. Also close to it there were swimming pool, tennis court, football pitch and a picnic area with playground. But we weren’t really interested about any of that. We just wanted to have some rest for more hours than we normally get at night. And we felt it to be quite unfair to the backpackers and any people really who don’t want or don’t plan to use these facilities but they are still included in price.

So we had a really nice rest there on a secluded pitch under the oak tree eating watermelon and cherries and just chilling out in the horizontal position. It was a nice easy day for us and we were excited about the next days and hoped they will be beautiful and not very hot.

Here is the link to Google map to follow the hike:

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