San Gimignano

The famous town of San Gimignano rises on a hill at 334m of altitude and dominates the surrounding Elsa Valley with its towers. It was built from an ancient etruscan settlement around a seventh century parish and a castle gave to the Volterra’s episcope in 929, but its life as a town started only in the 10th century when took its name from the Holy Bishop of Modena, St. Gimignano, who is said to have saved the village from the barbarian hordes.

The town increased in wealth and became a business centre during the Middle Ages thanks to the “Via Francigena” the trading and pilgrim’s route that crossed it. Such prosperity lead to the flourishing of works of art to adorn the churches and monasteries.

What renders San Gimignano so famous all around the country is its medieval fascination, visible in the architecture of the city, marked by a great number of towers. The construction of the towers dates back to the 11th and 13th centuries and was influenced by Pisa, Siena and Florence.

Each tower represents the richness of the noble families that ordered to be built 72 towers, one for everyone of them. Nowadays remain only 15 of the 72 towers, unbroken or cropped, but they are enough to give an unmistakable mark to the town.
Amongst the principal monuments of the city there are:

  • The Duomo or Collegiate Church: consecrated in 1148 and adorned with valuable frescoes depicting Stories of Old and New Testament, expressions of the art of Siena and Florence
  • The People’s Palace or new Podesta’s Palace: is today the home of the Town Council. It is rich in paintings by the Florentine and Sienese schools (dating from the 13th century) and other important works of art dating from the 14th/15th centuries.
  • The Museum of Sacred Art: Canvases, tablets, works in stone which come from former churches and monasteries, sacred silverware, vestements and psalm books.
  • The Archeological Museum: features Etruscan, Roman and Medieval findings from the city and the surrounding area.
  • The Church of St. Agostino: has a single nave in Romanesque style with Gothic elements. Extremely interesting to see is the Chapel of the Blessed Bartolo, whose mortal remains are kept in a marble monument sculpted by Benedetto da Maiano in 1495.

San Gimignano is the ideal destination for people who want spending a holiday in Tuscany. Book a farmhouse in San Gimignano end ynjoy your vacation. There are a lot of farmhouses such as Torre Prima.

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