What to see in San Gimignano, the village of towers and vernaccia
San Gimignano, in the province of Siena, is located on a hill from which it dominates the Val d'Elsa; it is a small village of Etruscan origin which, thanks to the Via Francigena, passed right here during the Middle Ages, in the past represented a crossroads and an important artistic center, so much so that works of art were produced here to adorn churches and convents.
From wherever you arrive, San Gimignano stands out with its numerous towers; today there are thirteen but it is said that in the fourteenth century there were seventy-two, equal to the nucleus of wealthy families, the only ones who could show their economic power through the construction of a tower.
Unfortunately this period of his artistic and economic wealth ended in 1348 with the arrival of the plague which forced San Gimignano to face a serious crisis. To get out, the village had to submit to Florence, but it had to wait a few centuries before overcoming it and regaining its cultural importance. The historic center of San Gimignano has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Not to be missed in San Gimignano
The beauty of the medieval village of San Gimignano attracts many tourists every year.
Although the village is really small, inside there are numerous finds of great historical and artistic importance.
The Duomo, which stands in Piazza del Duomo, is an example of Tuscan Romanesque architecture.
Inside it is possible to admire beautiful frescoes by Bartolo di Fredi such as "Stories of the Old Testament", that of Benozzo Gozzoli depicting "Martyrdom of San Sebastiano". In the central nave you can admire the frescoes by Taddeo Bartolo depicting the “Universal Judgment.
For example, the Sacred Art Museum , created in 1915, houses numerous works of art such as wooden structures of the fourteenth century, the Madonna della Rosa by Bartolo di Fredi.
The Civic Art Gallery , the Etruscan Museum , the Palazzo Vecchio del Podestà , the Palazzo del Popolo.
At the Etruscan museum you can see numerous finds from the area: in addition to common objects such as plates, vases and necklaces there are also cinerary urns depicting the deceased, lying down, carrying in his hands a plate with the offering that was meant to serve. to the deceased to pay for the ferry to the afterlife.
Typical products: Vernaccia
Vernaccia is an excellent white wine produced in the sandy and clayey hills of the area. In 1966 it was the first wine to receive the DOC recognition
It is said that this wine was already known and appreciated in 1270, at the time of Dante Alighieri who even mentions it in a passage from the Divine Comedy, in the group of gluttons.
Vernaccia is not the only wine produced in these areas: Chianti Colli Senesi , San Gimignano Rosso and Rosato , and Vin Santo are other wine products of great value.
Reach San Gimignano
By train: San Gimignano cannot be reached by train, but it is possible to reach Poggibonsi from Firenze Santa Maria Novella and from there continue by bus.
By bus: from Florence changing at Poggibonsi.
By car: from the A1 Milan-Rome, exit at Firenze Certosa, continue on the highway to Siena. Exit at Poggibonsi Nord and follow for San Gimignano.
By plane: the closest airports are Leonardo da Vinci in Florence Peretola and Galileo Galilei in Pisa. From the Florence airport, but also from Pisa it is possible to reach the railway station and then reach San Gimignano by train. it is possible to reach San Gimignano by public transport or by hiring a car.