Rising from the Tuscan hills, among olive groves and the sloping vineyards of the Chianti Senese, is the picturesque village of San Gimignano whose stone towers are reminiscent of a Medieval Manhattan.
San Gimignano is an enchanting hilltop village famous for its towers that can be admired above the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside – especially beautiful when the sun is setting. At its peak, 72 towers filled this medieval skyline as a symbol of a family’s power and wealth. Although only 14 have survived, they continue to attract visitors each year.
Entering the fortified walls of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is like entering the Middle Ages. The town’s medieval streets are lined with artisan shops selling fine leather goods, handcrafted ceramics, local delicacies, speciality cheeses and wines. The white Vernaccia di San Gimignano is the perfect drink accompanied by a selection of local cheeses drizzled in honey and walnuts.
In the central Piazza della Cisterna, stop by Gelateria Dondoli for a delicious homemade gelato. This Award-winning ice-cream parlour is one of the best in Italy! The town is also home to wonderful restaurants with incredible views of the surrounding countryside, as well as quaint hotels.
San Gimignano may be small, but it is packed with artistic treasures and interesting things to see and do. Climb the Torre Grossa; it is the highest of the city’s towers and provides a spectacular panoramic view. At the Galleria Continua, art lovers can admire a fine collection of contemporary art. Voyage back in time at the San Gimignano Museum with its miniature model of the town as it appeared in the 14th century at the height of its splendor. Wine enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the Vernaccia Museum that leads guests into the world of the region’s famed wine.
The next time you are making your way through Florence and Siena, be sure to stop by San Gimignano. It’s definitely worth a visit!
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