San Gimignano's mediaeval skyline makes it one of the most frequently visited towns in Tuscany. The towers of the noble family rise high into the sky, as historical status symbols.
A massive fortress wall surrounds the small city, which can be crossed by foot in just a few minutes.
The houses and representative buildings stand closely together inside of the city walls. Picturesque lanes, charming squares and fresco-decorated churches all stand as proof to the former affluence of the flourishing commercial centre.
Formerly flourishing commercial centre
The unique townscape of San Gimignano can be traced back to a catastrophe in 1348. The plague hit the then free community unusually hard, thousands died. In the aftermath, the economy collapsed and the town lost its autonomy. In 1358, Florence took the town's fate into its hands.
The plague and its later compensation
The 72 (!) towers remained standing under Florentine rule. Other cities tore town old towers and replaced them with filigree buildings. The totally impoverished town of San Gimignano did not have the financial resources to follow suit, the towers remained standing.
14 of these symbols of power, greed and disaccord in the noble families survived the passing of time and became the visitor magnets that they are today. A little late, but the residents of San Gimignano can today profit from the crisis of the past.
Wine from San Gimignano
Vernaccia grapes, from which Vernaccia di San Gimignano is made, grow on the surrounding hills. The fruity wine with a mild bitter tone, which Michelangelo is said to have liked, can be enjoyed throughout the town. Countless shops in the Via San Giovanni, which leads from the southern city gate, offer regional specialties.
In 1990, UNESCO declared San Gimignano a world heritage sight. The view of the high towers in the middle of the mediaeval town is unforgettable. Besides the Piazza della Cisterna, the magnificent Santa Maria Assunta draws a lot of attention. more
Colourful historical spectacles and processions such as the Fiera delle Messi take place in San Gimignano, the perfect location. The performances, which are held as part of the international festival Dentro e Fuori le Mura, are also very impressive. more
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