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ON THE HILLS OF SIENA

The relax you're looking for

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San Gimignano

From Antico Borgo San Lorenzo to San Gimignano

On a hilltop in the heart of Tuscany, dominating the Elsa valley between Siena and Florence, stands a majestic medieval walled town, its profile bristling with tall towers (only 14 now, but there were 72 once!) that is a destination you cannot miss when you decide to spend few days in the region: San Gimignano.

Its historic centre has almost perfectly preserved the typical features of a XII and XIII-century town, as to have been chosen as film scenery for several times and it is Unesco World Architecture Heritage since 1990.

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san-gimignano

San Gimignano developed greatly during the Middle Ages for being situated on a strategic point of the Via Francigena
, the route that crossed the town and allowed the Catholic pilgrims to get to Rome from Northern Europe. In addition to this, it represented an important junction on the road to Pisa and therefore to the seaside.

The centre of San Gimignano has got a main street that crosses the town from north to south, joining the opposite doors of San Giovanni and San Matteo, realized in 1214, during the latest enlargement of the town walls. Only by walking to the top of the hill it is possible to reach the oldest part of San Gimignano, where we can admire most of the old stone towers, wanted by the patrician families who controlled the city, as symbols of their wealth and power.
In “Piazza della Cisterna”, characterised by an irregular shape and a well situated just in the middle that gives the square its name, the local market always takes place. In the square nearby we can otherwise observe the buildings that represent the old religious and political power of the town: the “Collegiata” church, housing a wonderful wide representation of frescoes dating back to XIV century with scenes from the Old and the New Testament and the relics of S. Fina, co-patron of San Gimignano; the old “Palazzo del Podestà” with its tower called “Rognosa”; the “Palazzo del Popolo”, once seat of the municipality and currently seat of the town gallery, from where we can walk up to the fifty-four metres “Torre Grossa” and enjoy a wonderful view over the surrounding countryside.

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Not far away from the main street, it is possible to reach the archaeological Museum, inside which we can admire the “Spezieria di S.Fina”, a finely-made reconstruction of a medieval drugstore, and S. Agostino’s church, housing several wonderful frescoes of the XIV and XV century, among which the life history of S.Agostino, painted by Benozzo Gozzoli in the chapel situated behind the high altar.

In addition to its artistic beauties, San Gimignano is greatly appreciated for its vintage wines and food traditionAmong its most famous products it is worth to mention the saffron, used in the Middle Ages for dyeing and nowadays widely used in many typical local dishes; and the “Vernaccia”, a white wine which has been the first among the Italian wines to be awarded like DOC (wine of controlled origin) in 1966 and currently DOCG (wine of controlled and guaranteed origin). The tradition of this wine is so old to have been mentioned by Dante in its masterpiece “The Divine Comedy”, while he is accusing Pope Martino IV of having been too much greedy of it.

Every year, on March 12th, it is celebrated the young local blessed Fina and on the second or third weekend of June San Gimignano liven up the traditional “Feria delle Messi”, the Medieval Harvest festival that is celebrated with songs, dance and games, as a reawakening of its original medieval atmosphere.


Here there are some exemples of itinerarys in the sienise district:

San Gimignano’s Towers
Visit along the main street to admire the charm of San Gimignano, real medieval city, and climbing up to the Torre Grossa (highest tower) with its breathtaking view.

Rates Half Day
Groups (10-35 pax) 115 euro
Privatate tour up to 10 p. 125 euro

Rates Full Day
Groups (10-35 pax) 230 euro
Privatate tour up to 10 p. 250 euro

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Antico Borgo San Lorenzo

Loc. Pian dei Campi

53036 Poggibonsi (Siena) Toscana Italia

Tel. +39 0577 977110 Fax. +39 0577 979553

E-mail: info@anticoborgosanlorenzo.it

P.IVA 01032440529
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