Nestled halfway between Florence and Siena is the fascinating medieval-style village of San Gimignano.
This enclosed village is small in size but holds a massive amount of history and beauty within. Most famous for its large display of medieval architecture that rises above the other buildings to offer stunning views of the surrounding valley.
The History of San Gimignano
The first human inhabitants found in San Gimignano dates to the archaic Etruscan period. However, leftover evidence suggests that the population of the community grew substantially in the Hellenistic period. Developing in the first three centuries of the Millennium due to its geographical position on top of a high hill. Becoming one of the most important transit stops when travellers trek through the region. Thanks to its continuous wealth from its location, San Gimignano was able to build multiple buildings, with around 72 tower houses constructed to show off their wealth and power. Unfortunately, over the years, these towers have slowly diminished, with only 14 towers surviving to this day.
Why San Gimignano is Worth the Visit
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Gimignano has plenty of fascinating attraction that is worth the stopover. Allowing visitors to step back in time and imagine the ancient medieval world which once blossomed here.
Visiting this small village would not be complete without climbing up or at least getting close to one of the ancient towers scattered about. They are one of the main attractions in San Gimignano, with the historic squares of the village home to these medieval towers, which were once symbols for the families who built them. Many of the towers can still be climbed to, offering visitors an epic view of not just the entire village, but the green valley beyond. After climbing the ancient steps, stroll around the other buildings and shops nearby the towers, which are home to historic monuments, historic information, and ancient practices that are still being done today!
City Walls and Gates
It’s not just the towers which tell a story, with the village’s ancient walls and gates dating back hundreds of years. Walk along the 13th-century walls that surround the historic centre of San Gimignano, and learn about the history of this grand region.
The gates as well are fascinating, with some original in design, where others were built in the 15th and 16th century but the Medici, who controlled the town in this time. The detail and history laid out in these structures is truly unforgettable sight, and well worth the visit!