San Gimignano rises with the profile of its towers on a hill (m.334) in the Val d’Elsa.
San Gimignano is an agricultural and industrial center famous for the Vernaccia, its special wine.
It takes its name from the bishop of Modena, died in 385. The city became a free municipality after the year 1000, also thanks to its expansion.
Later there were built walls and towers, which in the XIII century were 72. Now there are only 14 of them left.
After the struggles between Guelphs and Ghibbellini, the city becomes part of Florence.
San Gimignano is worth a visit for its numerous works of art, thanks to the many artists who lived there and especially for its historical center. It is so rich of valuable pieces of art that in 1990 it was selected to be one of the World Heritage Sites.
Among the monuments to visit, there are:
the churches of of S. Peter S. Bartolo, S. Jacopo, the Collegiate Church of St. Maria Assunta and S. Augustine, with frescoes by Benozzo Cozzoli.
The museums of Sacred Art and Etruscan Art Gallery are also very interesting.
The visit to San Gimignano starts far away from the center of the town. Travelling by car, you will have the sight of the walls and the towers. Well it’s worth a stop!!
Enjoy the view of the seven towers, which come out from the roofs of ancient buildings.
From that distance it is impossible to appreciate the details …. you’ll do it later, once you arrive there. Now, however, admire the wonderful view of the town that draws on the horizon, with the towers as pinnacles that still now celebrate the power of the city of the past.
When you are there, you’ll notice that every building smells of an ancient history that every visitor can feel at every street corner.
Modernity has not changed the story. The new stores and retail chains are absorbed from the medieval atmosphere pervading the whole town, with its squares, its monuments, its narrow streets, made of old bricks.
And then, after a walk, when the charm of the town has fascinated you, take the time to eat in a typical restaurant. You will also appreciate the taste of San Gimignano and, I am sure, your relax will be perfect in front of a tasteful glass of Vernaccia!