top of page
  • Meredith Peters

San Gimignano, Italy - The City of Beautiful Towers

The breathtaking hillside town of San Gimignano, Italy, is located an hour outside of Florence in the beautiful Tuscany and is known as the “city of beautiful towers”. In its heyday, 72 towers stood throughout the town, now only 14 remain. The towers make for a visually striking skyline that can be seen rising above Tuscany’s Elsa Valley. Walking through the Old City means going back in time into the Middle Ages and spying a glimpse of what the city must have been like more than seven hundred years ago.

Best Wine Tours Italy
San Gimignano Italy

Before the sun-soaked city of San Gimignano was known as a gorgeous hill town, it saw a lot of misfortune in its history. From power struggles against neighboring cities to a plague infecting over half of the population. The town's neglected medieval mansions deteriorated before the city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1990. Today, the city is home to an eclectic mix of architectural styles seeping with history to amaze locals and visitors alike.

Italy Wine Vacations

Culinary masterpieces are no stranger to Italy, and each city is renowned for its unique specialties and creations. San Gimignano is known for its exquisite mixtures of interesting meat dishes. For example, Scottiglia, a warming dish made of boar, pheasant, and chicken flavored with tomato and aromatic spices. Wild boar is the one animal that most represents Tuscany, and wild boar salami can be purchased in gourmet shops throughout San Gimignano. Liver, rabbit, and tripe are also commonly used meats when cooking in San Gimignano. It also would not be Italy without pasta. The traditional pasta of the city is called pici, hand-rolled pasta that looks like thick spaghetti. The pasta is often served with a mint pesto or with a traditional tomato sauce.

San Gimignano’s storied past has left an abundance of architecture to see and historic attractions to visit. The city’s towers have remained intact and have been conserved through the years and internationally known. One of the most attractive sights of the town is the town square. It is paved with old brick and is a prime example of medieval architecture. The center of the square contains a well where the underlying cisterna can be accessed.

Italy Wine Vacations

Another “must-see” in San Gimignano is the Collegiata, filled with paintings commissioned by some of the city’s most famous artists. The beautiful interior contains tiger-striped arches and the wooden statues of Gabriele and Annunziata by Jacopo della Quercia. From here, visitors should venture over to the beautiful 13th century Romanesque-gothic church, Sant’Agostine, whose terracotta floor was made by Andrea della Robbia.

Italy Wine Vacations

These magnificent sites can be experienced on wheels on a Florence to San Gimignano Vespa tour, which combines visits around the medieval town with tastes from the local winery and famous gelato shops.

If the unique cuisine and historic sights do not compel tourists to the city of San Gimignano, the dramatic hilltop landscapes and medieval skylines surely will. The 13th century Torre Grossa is open to climbers and is one of the seven remaining towers that sit under the Tuscan sun.

Italy Wine Vacations

The vineyards surrounding San Gimignano produce some of the most famous white wine grapes in the world, Vernaccia. Vernaccia di Dan Gimignano is a citrus noted white wine with crisp fruit flavors that can be tasted on a wine tour or taken to go and enjoyed from any of the city's gorgeous viewpoints.

It is clear that this town, often called Italy’s “Medieval Manhattan,” is a must-add to any Tuscany itinerary. Whether you chose to visit for the day, or dedicate a couple of days to the city, it will be apparent that there is an abundance of things to see and do in the marvelous city of San Gimignano.

Are you ready to explore the towers of San Gimignano? Drop me a line and we'll start planning!


bottom of page