Today we were able to travel to San Gimignano with the other study abroad group from A&M that's studying at Santa Chiara! We took the two hour drive and then we were immediately greeted by our tour guide for the day. We took an hour and a half tour around the town, which has so much history. The town is known as the city of towers because they used towers to compete between families to prove power and wealth. They were never allowed to build a tower taller than the tower of the government though because the government was to be viewed as the ultimate source of power. Sam Gimignano is also very well known for producing wine and saffron.
Saffron is a very expensive spice that is derived from a flower. The reason saffron is so expensive is because each flower has to be hand picked and the saffron then extracted by hand. It would take over 150,000 flowers to produce just one kilogram of saffron. Saffron is also very lightweight so the amount you get from each flower doesn’t amount to very much.
After our guided tour was over, we were free for a little shopping and lunch. We were told about the world famous Gelateria Dondoli so of course we had to stop in for a try. They had some many flavors that it was overwhelming at first, but we finally decided on our favorites. We were able to sample unique flavors to San Gimignano as well, such as saffron and lavender. While eating out gelato in the piazza, we actually ran into the owner of Gelateria Dondoli! We definitely had tons of new experiences in San Gimignano and I hope to be able to come back again for another stay soon!