San Gimignano, information and advice on visiting the towered city
One of the most picturesque, little hill towns in Tuscany. The best way to explore San Gimignano is on foot as the town is very small. Its size and convenient setting make it a great base for exploring this part of Central Tuscany.
We have a wide range of fantastic San Gimignano villas in or very close to the city to suit all tastes and budgets. Browse our site or get in touch if you need our advice choosing your perfect villa in Tuscany.
San Gimignano is a small, walled medieval hill town in the province of
Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. It is mainly famous for its
medieval architecture, especially its towers, which may be seen from
several kilometres outside the town. San Gimignano was founded as a
small village in the 3rd century BC by the Etruscans. In the Middle Ages
and Renaissance era, it was a stopping point for Catholic pilgrims on
their way to Rome and the Vatican, as it sits on the medieval Via
Francigena. The city flourished until 1348, when the Black Death, which
affected all of Europe, compelled it to submit to Florence. San
Gimignano became a secondary centre until the 19th century, when its
status as a tourist and artistic destination began to be recognised.
This video shows some of the most interesting sights in San Gimignano.
San Gimignano has managed to conserve fourteen towers of varying
heights, which have become its international symbol.There are many
churches in the town: the two main ones are the Collegiata, formerly a
cathedral, and Sant'Agostino, housing a wide representation of artworks
from some of the main Italian renaissance artists.
The Communal Palace is home of the town gallery with works by
Pinturicchio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Domenico di Michelino,
Pier Francesco Fiorentino and others.
The heart of the town contains the four squares, the Piazza della Cisterna, the Piazza Duomo where the Collegiata is located, the Piazza Pecori and the Piazza delle Erbe. The main streets are Via San Matteo and Via San Giovanni, which cross the city from north to south.
A fictionalised version of San Gimignano is featured in E.M. Forster's 1905 novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread as Monteriano.
Tea with Mussolini, a 1999 drama about the plight of English and
American expatriate women in Italy during World War II, was filmed in
part at San Gimignano. The frescoes that the women save are inside the
Duomo, the town's main church.
In the novel The Broker by John Grisham, Joel Backman takes his
second of three wives on vacation in Italy to keep her from divorcing
him. They rent a 14th century monastery near San Gimignano for a month.
M. C. Escher's 1923 woodcut, San Gimignano, depicts the celebrated towers.
15th century San Gimignano may be explored in the video game Assassin's Creed II.
Located in the heart of the city, the museum San Gimignano 1300 offers a massive reconstruction of the city as it existed 700 years ago. Architects, historians, and a team of artists worked nearly 3 years to create this spectacular and unprecedented exhibition. This exhibit includes 800 meticulously handcrafted structures, 72 towers, street scenes, and figurines.