San Gimignano: itinerary to visit the ancient Tuscan village

What to see in San Gimignano, attractions and monuments, walking trails including the places of interest to visit in the town in the province of Siena.

Travel Guide San Gimignano

San Gimignano is a city in Tuscany, situated on a hill (m.324 asl) dominating the Val d’Elsa. Numerous archaeological finds in the area around San Gimignano, testify that the place was inhabited by the Etruscans, at least from the III-II century aC.Il Middle Ages was for San Gimignano a period of great splendor, as the village was on the Via Francigena. During the thirteenth century the trade of local agricultural products, including the prized saffron, facilitated the formation of an urban aristocracy that expressed their social and political supremacy with the construction of the towers.

About thirteen medieval towers rise again in old town, but in 1300 it could count between 72 towers and tower houses, a symbol of the economic power of the families to which they belonged. It goes back to that time also the layout of urban spaces, the result of significant investment in public works made in that period.

Despite the collapse of the towers and palaces, caused by the economic decline, architectural and cultural place in the second half of 1300 and the first half of 1400, San Gimignano has retained its authenticity, genuine example of medieval town planner in Tuscany and guardian of valuable works ‘art, Unesco World Heritage Site.

What to see in San Gimignano

– The Cathedral of San Gimignano or the Collegiate Church, is located on the west side of the square, and is a wonderful example of Romanesque architecture in Tuscany. The interior is full of frescoes relating stories of the Old and New Testament. In the right aisle is the Chapel of Santa Fina, one of the most significant works of the Tuscan Renaissance.

– The Palazzo Pratellesi, with its elegant windows is one of the most representative buildings of the city, the result of the combination of buildings from different periods. The façade was built on the remains of a tower and a palace, between the end of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth century. In one part of the building was the headquarters of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, San Gimignano branch entity welfare of Siena.

– The remains of the facade of the Church of San Francesco, the church was dedicated to St. Francis in 1300, when they moved to the Franciscans. In the twelfth century, the church was dedicated to St. John in Jerusalem and was intended to accommodate the pilgrims along the Via Francigena. In the bezel door remained the emblem in the shape of the cross of the Knights Gerosilimitani.

-The Tower of Cugnanesi, is outside of the first wall and is one of the most ancient tower of San Gimignano, built between one thousand and one thousand and fifty, before the age municipal. Its structure is characterized by the lack of openings, the interior spaces reduced and the large size of the building materials used in the basic characteristics of the oldest buildings.