When we arrived in Tuscany I was really excited. Our friends, the Darienzos, were coming to stay with us for 6 days! I couldn’t wait for them to get there! We were staying a few minutes outside the medieval walled city of San Gimignano in an agriturismo with vineyards and olive groves.   The word agriturismo is a combination of the words for “agriculture” and “tourism” in Italian.  It is a style of vacationing in farm house resorts.  During your stay you can participate in the daily operation of the farm and do fun things like help take care of animals, help take in the harvest or learn how they make wine and olive oil.   Our agriturismo had olive groves and vineyards, pressed their own olive oil and made their own wine.  We met up with Guy, Bennett, Shea and Reed for dinner that night. Shea and I were so happy to see each other!  Dinner was delicious. We ate pasta and pizza.  The next morning, we decided to explore San Gimignano! We walked around the city, looking in all the little shops filled with knick-knacks and souvenirs. We walked along the outer walls of the city, looking out at the amazing rolling hills of Tuscany. Hungry and tired, we stopped and got some pizza and gelato in one of the city’s many squares. I got hazelnut and white chocolate gelato. It was scrumcious! Later, we all went swimming in the hotel pool. The water was freezing cold! We didn’t mind though because it was roasting hot outside.  It was amazing to swim while looking out over the gorgeous Tuscan landscape of olive groves and fruit trees.  The next morning, we all went for a cooking class a little ways outside of San Gimignano. We made our own pasta by hand, and made a spicy marinara sauce and a garlic and thyme parmigiano sauce to put on the pasta. The pasta we made was a traditional Tuscan pasta called pici, a thick chewy pasta rolled into long thick strands. It was really good.  I tried both of the sauces on the pasta and I think my favorite was the garlic and thyme sauce. We also made bruschetta and panzanella,  a bread salad  which was delicious as well.  With our bellies full we rest and dream of our next Italian destination. Next stop, Positano!

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