It was time to head out to San Miniato, our starting point for the VF. Since we were stopping at a minor station, we had to get a ticket in order to be in the queue to purchase our rail tickets. The self-service kiosks are reserved for inter-city travel between five major cities in Italy. The time was 10:40 and our train was scheduled to depart at 10:53. When I got to the window, the clerk said – not to worry. The train is late. She shrugged and said in English – this is Italy.
Indeed, the train was 35 minutes late. When track 6 was posted, we along with many others dashed for the modern two-decker coaches that were waiting. We settled in. I plugged my iPhone charging cord into the outlet below the seat. Within a minute, we were told our train was further down the tracks. Although old, the train was fast moving. Thirty minutes later we were off the train to catch a bus that would take us to San Miniato old town.
It was 12:30 and the bus was scheduled for 1 PM. Another person waiting for the bus told us that we needed to buy tickets at the cafe across the street. Three euros later for the two of us, we were treated to a Formula 1 drive through roundabouts, and curves up the mountain. About three quarters of the way up, we transferred to a smaller bus whose driver took us on another Grand Prix ride – no additional charge, thank you. After looping one side of the town, we arrived at Hotel San Miniato.
After checking in, we walked to the main piazza to find lunch. We settled on Piccola Osteria del Tartufo. We didn’t know that San Miniato is well known for its black and white truffles. Rich chose the plate of cut meats and I, the tartar of manzo (beef), both seasoned with black truffles. We each had a glass of red San Miniato wine. Our server described the wine as strong. I found that it tasted like a young red blend – Sangiovese and Colorino grapes, a first for me. We enjoyed the food, wine, the friendliness of the servers and chef, and the general ambiance of the place. Afterwards we walked around the town reaching the high ground overlooking the duomo built in the 12th Century. A watchtower sits at the corner of the high ground. Frederick Barbarossa helped build it. A glorious past and present are infused in the lifeblood of this community. Before the tourist office closed, we secured our first stamp of the walk.
We ended the day with a light supper. We are as prepared as can be to start Day 1 of our VF walk. Stay tuned.
2 thoughts on “Setting Up (12 October)”
Your trip sounds exciting! You are starting in a beautiful place and it looks like you have good weather. I can’t wait to read about your journey. Good luck!
Good luck to both of you – a great adventure awaits. Can’t wait to read about your journey.