San Gimignano – place of dreams

When you say Tuscany, we say… good marketing… but after we seen San Gimignano and the region around it, I think it changed our minds. Thanks San Gimignano to display all the beauty that Tuscany can offer in one small place.

You probably wonder what the heck we think saying “good marketing”, well… we stayed in Montecatini Terme for a week, travelled to Pisa, Firenza, visited surrounding towns like Pistoria, Montecatini Alto, Montesummo… but we just didn’t seen any ‘postcard’ Tuscany we were expecting to see. There were a lot of non maintained buildings, lot of industry. When we arrived we were expecting to see hills surrounded with vineyards, old houses, ranches, something you would see in old roman movies.

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It was early morning when we arrived in San Gimignano, there were not a lot of tourists which made this place even more beautiful. Yes, it was astonishing, yes, it was like from the postcard… mea culpa 🙂 Region around San Gimignano is more amazing than any postcard can tell.

The entrance to the city and main street that leads you to the main city square left the impression live we were in the middle ages. Four towers stand there like they stood 450 AD, visiting San Gimignano is most definitely a must when in Italy!

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We walked through Via S. Giovanni where we passed by the sea of small shops full with interesting items, souvenirs and things that we would like to have as a reminder for this beautiful city. We peered into the Museum of Torture which we did not visit because the schedule of that day was overwhelmed.

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After about fifty photos, we came to the square called Piazza della Cisterna that fascinated us by the details and story told by each house for itself.

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From this square, path leads to the main square, Piazza del Duomo, where are Palazzo Comunale and Basilica Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta. On the other side is Palazzo which belonged to the Ghibelline Salvucci family. The towers in that square take breath away with their height, and gives the square the dynamism.

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After that, we walked the street beside the basilica and came to Rocca Montestaffoli, beautiful walls with a magnificent view on the towers of San Gimignano, olive trees planted in the courtyard of these walls and the surrounding area. Simply, it takes breath away. Since we did not have much time and we had to continue the trip, we got back through other hidden streets to get to the car.

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Historical notes

San Gimignano is small medieval town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, known as the Town of Fine Towers. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The “Historic Centre of San Gimignano”, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In the 3rd century BC a small Etruscan village stood on the site of San Gimignano. Chroniclers Lupi, Coppi and Pecori relate that during the Catiline conspiracy against the Roman Republic in the 1st century, two patrician brothers, Muzio and Silvio, fled Rome for Valdelsa and built two castles, Mucchio and Silvia (now San Gimignano). The name of Silvia was changed to San Gimignano in 450 AD after Bishop Geminianus, the Saint of Modena, intervened to spare the castle from destruction by the followers of Attila the Hun.[5] As a result, a church was dedicated to the saint, and in the 6th and 7th centuries a walled village grew up around it, subsequently called the “Castle of San Gimignano” or Castle of the Forest because of the extensive woodland surrounding it. From 929 the town was ruled by the bishops of Volterra.

Learn more about San Giminano at Wikipedia.

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Love,
Ines & Filip

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