Sunday, August 13, 2006

San Gimignano Is Under Siege



One of our favorite cities is under siege. Three million tourists come to San Gimignano each year (compare that to two million visitors to Jackson Hole) and they come in fast, take a quick picture of themselves against a tower and whisk out to another city in the triangle.
“Some people, jokingly, say that we have to get out of the ‘Bermuda Triangle,’ a reference to the hordes of tourists in sandals and shorts who migrate between St. Peter’s in Rome, the Uffizi in Florence and Piazza San Marco in Venice,” said Francesco Rutelli, deputy prime minister and culture minister.
In 2000, when Mike and I went to Italy to celebrate my 50th birthday, we flew into Venice, spent several nights there, drove to Radaa and spent a week there driving to the Uffizi in Florence, San Gimignano, Siena, and many of the towns in Tuscany, then we drove to Rome for another week.

If you have the time, I would encourage you to get to know these medieval towns, enjoy lunch and dinner there, sit in the sun and sip a cup of coffee, enjoy the Gelato, talk with the Italians, practice your limited Italian and marvel at the ancient buildings and the light.
“The problem is hit-and-run tourism, which doesn’t create wealth or guarantee the preservation of a beautiful but delicate city,” said Sabrina Benenati, the town counselor responsible for commerce and local productivity. “If all you want to do is get photographed in front of a tower, I’m sure there are computer programs that can do the same thing with no damage to the town and without spending much money.”
Don't be a hit-and-run tourist!

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery
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