Welcome to San Gimignano: Tuscany’s Timeless Gem

Nestled among the picturesque hills of Val d’Elsa in Tuscany, San Gimignano stands as a testament to medieval grandeur. Known as the city of 72 towers, this charming village offers a unique blend of history, culture, delicious food, and exquisite wine.


Let’s explore what makes San Gimignano a must-visit destination.

The Towers of San Gimignano
The Towers of San Gimignano

The History and Legends of San Gimignano

San Gimignano’s history is as fascinating as its skyline. Initially built in the late Middle Ages, it served as a crucial stop for travellers on the Via Francigena. The village played a significant role in the conflict between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, with wealthy families competing to build the tallest towers.

The Legend Behind the Name

According to legend, Saint Geminianus, a 5th-century bishop, protected the village from barbarian raids. In his honour, the town was renamed San Gimignano.

Iconic Towers of San Gimignano

Only 14 of the original 72 towers remain today, each telling a story of the town’s rich past.


Torre Grossa (Torre del Podestà): The tallest at 52 meters, offering panoramic views. 🏰


Campatelli Tower: Open to the public and maintained by FAI. 🏒


Other Notable Towers: Campanile della Collegiata, the twin towers of the Ardinghelli, and the Torre del Diavolo, which, according to legend, mysteriously grew taller while its owner was away, leading to rumours that the devil himself added the extra height. 😈

San Gimignano is often called the ``Manhattan of the Middle Ages`` because its tall towers create a striking medieval skyline. πŸ™οΈ

Towers of San Gimignano

Must-See Attractions

San Gimignano is a treasure trove of historical and cultural sites easily explored on foot. πŸšΆβ€β™‚οΈ

Torture Museum

A chilling yet intriguing museum displaying historical torture devices, including chastity belts, guillotines, and spiked collars. πŸ—‘οΈ


Spezieria di Santa Fina

A faithful reconstruction of the historic pharmacy within the Conservatorio di Santa Chiara showcases ancient medicines and pharmacy jars. A beloved local figure, Saint Fina is celebrated here with frescoes depicting her life and miracles. 🏺

Spezieria di Santa Fina

Saint Fina, who lived in the 13th century, is said to have had visions of Saint Gregory and experienced miraculous healing. Her story is depicted in beautiful frescoes by Ghirlandaio in the Collegiate Church. 🌟

Vernaccia Museum

Dedicated to the local Vernaccia wine, this museum offers a deep dive into its history, along with tastings paired with local delicacies. Vernaccia di San Gimignano was even praised by Dante Alighieri in his “Divine Comedy.” 🍷

Vernaccia Wine Experience

Vernaccia di San Gimignano was the first Italian wine to receive the DOC designation in 1966, recognizing its high quality and historical significance. πŸ…

Piazza della Cisterna

This central square, named after its 13th-century cistern, is surrounded by tower houses and noble palaces, preserving its medieval charm. The square also hosts various cultural events, including the lively “Ferie delle Messi” medieval festival. 🏘️

During the Black Death in the 14th century, San Gimignano was severely affected. A wooden platform called the ``Ringhiera`` was built in Piazza della Cisterna for public announcements and town council meetings, reflecting the town's resilience and communal efforts to overcome adversity. πŸ› οΈ

Piazza della Cisterna, San Gimignano
Piazza della Cisterna, San Gimignano

Culinary Delights

San Gimignano is a food lover’s paradise, with various eateries offering traditional Tuscan cuisine. 🍝

Fattoria Poggio Alloro – A top agritourism spot with a winery offering rustic accommodations and organic produce. πŸ‡


Gelateria Dondoli – Located in Piazza della Cisterna, this famous gelateria serves unique flavours like saffron and vernaccia, consistently winning international awards. 🍦


Osteria del Carcere – In the heart of the village, this restaurant is known for its wild boar ragΓΉ, roast pork, cured meats, and extensive wine list.

Gelateria Dondoli has won the Gelato World Championship multiple times, making it a must-visit for gelato enthusiasts. πŸ†

San Gimignano
San Gimignano

Practical Tips for Visitors

Parking in San Gimignano

Non-residents must use paid parking lots outside the village. The closest options are Parking Lots 3 and 4 near Via Bagnania, and Park Giubileo 1 on Via Spartaco Lavagnini. πŸ…ΏοΈ

Arriving by Train

Alternatively, you can take a train to Poggibonsi station and then a bus to San Gimignano. πŸš†

San Gimignano
View of San Gimignano
San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a captivating destination that blends historical intrigue with culinary excellence. Whether you're wandering its ancient streets, sampling local wines, or simply soaking in the stunning views, this Tuscan village promises an unforgettable experience. πŸŒ„

Where to Stay

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