Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The best gelato in the world!

In less than two weeks time we will be in Thailand! Nathan and I are so excited for this trip, as we both talked about backpacking around SE Asia together, before our daughter was even born. So now that we are actually going to do it, it feels quite surreal. 

So before we leave Europe, I thought I would write my last blog post about Italy, and our day trip to San Gimignano and Siena. Nathan has always wanted to go to a winery in Tuscany, so this was a must do for us! We decided to book a tour through a company rather than try to do it ourselves. This worked out perfectly, as we were able to arrange pick up from our apartment in Florence early in the morning to where the bus would leave. 

Our first stop on the tour was the ancient town of San Gimignano. The town is known for its incredible Tuscan scenery, its medieval architecture, and its own famous grape varitey, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, grown only in the town. In fact, I am sipping on a glass of Vernaccia wine from San Gimignano as I write this ;) 
San Gimignano is also known for one other thing, being home to the Dondoli Gelateria, winner of the Gelato World Championship two years in a row. First of all, why didn't I know about this gelato world championship?? And where can I apply to be a judge?!
Anyway, with that sort of reputation you'd be mad not to try it, right?? Upon arrival to the main square in the town, you will see several Gelaterias which will claim to have the world's best gelato. What you are looking for however, is the authentic winner of the championship, Dondoli Gelateria. Inside the shop you will find many different exciting flavours of gelato, and you will be absolutely overwhelmed! I chose to try vanilla, and passion fruit.  Vanilla seemed like a bit of a 'safe' choice, but there were so many to choose from, and I am very indecisive haha! 
However, I was not disappointed! Trust me when I say that this was THE best gelato I have ever tasted! It was so creamy and flavourful, and now I do realise I have almost written a novel about this icecream, but it really was that good! 
Nathan and I also shared some of the rosemary and raspberry gelato, plus a sorbet made with San Gimignano's own Vernaccia wine. It was delicious. 

OK, ok enough about gelato ;) 
After our quick stop at San Gimignano, we got back on our tour bus and made our way to our wine tasting at a chianti vineyard nearby. Here we tried three different wines, a white wine, and two red wines. It was all very nice :) We also had lunch at the vineyard,  and one very nice woman offered to take Charlotte while we ate. So Charlotte was carried around the room, being in her element,  smiling and babbling at people in the restaurant. She is a very social little girl ;)

After lunch, the bus tour took us to Siena,  where we chose to take a walk around the town by ourselves,  rather than participate in the guided tour. Siena was also another stunning Tuscan town, with gorgeous old cobble stone streets and pretty buildings. Again,  it started raining, so we ducked into a small cafe and had a glass of prosecco and an aperol spritz :)

Our last stop of the tour was Monteriggioni, a small medieval town. The whole town is built inside a circle of walls, and it is just so irresistibly charming! I can just picture having a romantic honeymoon escape here for a few nights. You will really feel like you are stepping back in time when you walk through this village. 

My only complaint from this tour was that we didn't have enough time in each of the towns! However, considering how much we had to squeeze into one day, I feel like this was a very good value day trip, and to get more time in each town we would have had to stay there overnight. I'm already dreaming about spending a few leisurely weeks (or maybe months??) in Tuscany in my (imaginary) future! Maybe one day ;)!

So that's it from our time in Italy!  I hope you enjoyed reading, and that I didn't waffle on too much about gelato ;)
Thanks for reading. 
Hannah xx

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