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This is a sweet view of the Tuscany countryside, from the tower at San Gimignano.

This is a view of San Gimignano from the bell tower. They are famous for their many towers (over seventy at the city's peak). You can see two of the towers left of center. San Gimignano was the coolest city we visited. It's really small, but at one time was a huge center of commerce, and all the powerful and rich families would build towers to live in. They would climb in the tower from a ladder, and then pull up the ladder behind them so people couldn't break in. They also used boiling oil to dissuade attackers. They chopped all of the towers off at a certain height at one point. I'm not sure why, though. San Gimignano also has the coolest shops.

San Gimignano from a gun port (or whatever it was) in the bell tower.

Jeff and Naomi, hanging out in Italy. Tuscany kicks ass.

The following pictures are from our second trip to San Gimignano:

RobFan came along for the ride, and the whole time he kept calling me a girl because we were shopping for gifts and he doesn't like to shop. He's standing in front of the famous well in the center of San Gimignano. We went in to the "History of Torture Through the Ages" museum during this trip, and it was well worth it. We had visited the torture museum in Ischia, but it didn't compare to the one in San Gimignano.

San Gimignano has the best card shop in Italy. The daughter of the old guy shown here makes these killer lithographs, and I always drop a small fortune in his shop buying all kinds of cards and posters. It's really nice. Check out the card below, it's a scan from a postcard that I bought on my very first trip there three years ago with my Dad.

It's a really nice card, and I bought a big poster size of it for only $15. With a frame, it's $20. It's a great shop.