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San Gimignano, Siena

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San GimignanoSan Gimignano is small Tuscan town with an incredible medieval fascination in the province of Siena with an ancient history and old traditions.
Is Unesco World Architecture Heritage since 1990 for its remarkable towers and walls but also for fabulous frescoes and other important art works.

San Gimignano is called "città delle Belle Torri" (meaning ‘town of the fine towers’) and rises on a hill dominating the Val d'Elsa (Elsa Valley) at 56 Km south from Florence on ancient Via Francigena (the famous road to and from Rome).
It's worldly known for its towers which once numbered 72, nowdays remain only 14 - some high 50 m, symbols of the power and wealth of the city’s medieval families.

San Gimignano rose from an ancient etruscan village (200-300 BC). It began its life as a town in the 10th century taking its name from the Holy Bishop of Modena, St. Gimignano, who is said to have saved the village from the barbarian hordes. The town developed greatly during the Middle Ages thanks to the "Via Francigena" the trading and pilgrim's route that crossed it. In 1199 it became a free municipality and fought against the Bishops of Volterra and the surrounding municipalities.
The families, enriched with the commerce, ordered 72 towers to be built (but, as the law forbade, everyone could not exceed in height the Commune tower, called Rognosa).
Further to the continuous infighting between Guelfi and Ghibellini factions and to the conflict with Volterra, in 1353 was subdued to Florence, following later the rule of Grand Duchy of Tuscany till 1860. In the following centuries San Gimignano overcame its decline and isolation when its beauty and cultural importance together with its agricultural heritage were rediscovered.

San Gimignano is highly crowded by turistis. In San Gimignano you'll find lots of wine shops, enotecas, book stores, leather shops and glass shops. Don't miss to taste the Vernaccia, the typical San Gimignano wine and to visit one of the newer Museums in town: the Museo del Vino (Wine Museum), which is located just outside the Rocca (fortress), on the western side of town.

Every year in June San Gimignano host the traditional Ferie delle Messi, the Medieval Harvest Festival, a reawaken of antique events of the city medieval history. San Gimignano will fall under a veil of its original medieval atmosphere.

 

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