San Gimignano, is a small walled village about halfway between Florence and Siena. It is famous for its medieval architecture and towers that rise above of all the surrounding buildings, offering an impressive view of the city from the surrounding valley.
At the height of its glory, San Gimignano's patrician families had built around 72 tower-houses as symbols of their wealth and power. The towers belonged to the many noble and wealthy families that lived within the city. They were, first of all, a system of defense from enemies, including rival families living within the same town. The structure itself made it an almost impregnable fortress: entrance was several feet above ground and accessible only with retractable ladders, the thick and high stone walls were hard to scale and difficult to give fire to. Although only 14 of the towers have survived, San Gimignano still retains its feudal atmosphere and appearance.
San Gimignano 1300 is a wonderful museum which offers a beautiful, large and super-detailed miniature reconstruction of medieval San Gimignano, allowing a view the town as it would have looked at the height of its splendor. The museum provides commentaries in both English and Italian. Entrance is entirely free but you may make a donation to insure that the museum continues to thrive.
Sovestro in Poggio Winery is within walking distance from San Gimignano. The winery is a farming estate filled with fields of grapes and olives. The estate produces wines like Tribolo, a Chianti, as well as its own extra virgin olive oil called Bagatto.
San Gimignano is a favorite of Tuscan Muse guests, photographers, artists, cooks and writers who participate in our tours of Tuscany, photography workshops, painting workshops, culinary workshops and writing workshops in Tuscany.