Even if you had no idea what to see in San Gimignano Italy, you’d immediately notice its unique skyline. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, this walled Tuscan city was founded by the Etruscans and then became prosperous in the middle ages due to its location as part of the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgramage route between Rome and Canterbury. Then as many Tuscan cities, it experienced a decline after the Black Plague in the mid-14th century, but you’d never know it to visit it today.
Food and wine in San Gimignano
- go on a cellar tour or just sample some of the local white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano
- eat something (try the risotto) made with locally grown saffron, or zafferano
- In June, go for the medieval harvest festival, Ferie delle Messi.
Views from San Gimignano
- Climb up any of the towers, or walk up to the fortress or Rocca, and enjoy the views from the terrace while sipping a glass of wine (next to the Museo del Vino). San Gimignano is in the heart of the Tuscan countryside and views are spectacular.
Art and History in San Gimignano
- Visit the Duomo or Collegiata and Sant’Agostino, as well as the Town Gallery (inside the Communal Palace) for a taste of some famous Italian renaissance frescoes;
- If you’re not going to make it to Volterra, go see the Etruscan artifacts in the Archaeological museum. The Etruscans were such an important part of Tuscan history and it’s worth understanding a little of their culture.
- Visit the very unique Torture Museum – especially if you are traveling with teenage boys
San Gimignano is not off the beaten track.
It is packed to the gills with tourists, including many who arrive in busloads. It’s possible to get away from the throngs – just follow the small streets away from the crowds.
How to Get to San Gimignano
- By car: from the Milano-Roma A1 autostrada, exit Poggibonsi Nord and follow the signs
- By train/bus: the train goes to Poggibonsi. From there, or from Siena or Florence, take a bus.
Photo by Sanjay
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