During October Northwest in Motion traveled to Italy to meet with our retail suppliers and do some sightseeing.
Our retail manager Francesca Carmichael was born and raised in Cremona. It was awesome to have a local guide.
We spent a weekend in the Tuscan hills where we visited Poggibonsi and San Gimignano.
(Trying a new image format: To view the full captions, click on the three dots below each image.)
We stayed at Bigallo Youth Hostel, a 13th century way station and former nunnery. Getting there from Florence took about an hour on a local bus, plus a ~1km uphill walk. The hostel managers graciously gave us oldsters our own dorm room. There were group meals in the evening and morning, and shared bathrooms and showers.
We took the bus from Florence to San Gimignano along an indirect route that took us through the Chianti region. Although Francesca was worried the trip would take too long, it was a beautiful autumn morning and the views along the country roads were much better than those from the highway. Poggibonsi was an unexpectedly delightful 90-minute layover.
The old part of Poggibonsi was just a 5 minute walk from the bus terminal.
San Gimignano is a small medieval hill town southwest of Florence. Surrounded by walls built in the 13th-century, it’s famous for well-preserved medieval architecture and numerous towers. The “Historic Centre of San Gimignano” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town is known for saffron, Golden Ham, and its white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the locally grown Vernaccia grape.