Monday, January 23, 2012

Three watercolour drawings from San Gimignano, Tuscany

I'm not normally a fan of very touristy hotspots, but this gorgeous mediaeval town near Siena was well worth visiting. Like many old towns in Italy, it's perched on a hilltop and full of tiny winding streets. A particularly memorable place was this cafĂ© right at the main gate into the town, run by two of the toughest old ladies ever. You had to walk past them to get to the toilet, and they would not let you use their toilet without buying something first, so no matter how busy they were, they would still bellow out 'tea, coffee, cappucino, cola' to any unfortunates attempting to scamper past for relief. There was no escape. If you were naive enough to stop and try to explain (twitching all the while) how DESPERATELY you needed to go, they had no mercy, everyone wishing to use their facilities had to buy something. They were ferocious. 

You had to pay for your tea, coffee, cake and toilet, but the floor show was free. And so worth the twenty minutes taken to drink the coffee and enjoy the cake. 

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