San Gimignano is our favorite town in the world. It is old and untouched by modern times until very recently. It used to be a major stop on the trade routes to Florence until Florence changed the routes and basically put this small town out of business. It is in the region of Tuscany and Province of Siena. Its population is just under 8,000 people.
This is a walled medieval town that restricts traffic inside the walls to local residents only. There are many parking areas outside the walls and you walk in. The city is not that big and easily walkable. The architecture is beautiful.
During the medieval period there were 72 tall slender towers. This is one of the towns most distinguishing features. They represented wealth. The taller the tower the more your wealth. The tallest was 230 feet tall. Today there are only 14 towers left and preserved.
Streets of San Gimignano
Old small church in back of town
4 of the towers
Main street in town with many tourists
One of the gates through the Medieval Wall
Main piazza with water well
Main church in center of town
Having a prosecco overlooking the wall
San Gimignano is a very romantic and ancient city. Don’t miss this city. It is just off the autostrada from Siena to Florence. Spend a day walking this city and being back in time.
You will see old towers and homes with the entrance on the second floor. In medieval times they would lower a letter to let people in and out and raise it at night to prevent invaders from getting in. Time runs much slower here so stop, take a breath and enjoy your life.
When George was first here in 1980 it was unknown to tourists. There were few tourist shops and no-one spoke English. The streets were empty. Today tour busses line up outside the walls and there are many shops along the main street. Most tourist never wonder beyond the main street and the piazza. Wonder down the side streets and see the real city. There is a restaurant with outdoor seating up on the wall. This is a city to wonder through and escape the tourist crowds.
George & Jo Anne