Take a trip to San Gimignano: "The Manhattan of the Middle Ages"

Take a trip to San Gimignano: "The Manhattan of the Middle Ages"
| 2 min read

Located in the area of Siena, in the middle of the Val d'Elsa in Tuscany you will find San Gimignano. This little medieval town is known for the well preserved condition of its medieval architecture, as for the beauty of its landscape.

While exploring San Gimignano you can admire a unique skyline where the beauty of the surrounding nature meets a majestic medieval architecture.

Discover San Gimignano and its fascinating history

take a trip to san gimignano: "the manhattan of the middle ages" | discover san gimignano and its fascinating history

San Gimignano is located on a high ground about 324 meters (1062 feet) in the Val d'Elsa (Valley of Elsa).

The first human settlement in this area dates back to the 3rd century B.C when the Etruscan civilization raised a little village. Indeed along this area archaeologists have found Etruscan tombs, and artifacts.

According to the legend, the name San Gimignano comes from the namesake Bishop of Modena, who saved the little town from the barbarian invasion lead by Attila the Hun in 450 A.C.

The current look of this beautiful medieval hamlet is more or less the same as the XIII century, and for this reason the town has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1990.

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Enjoy a fascinating walk through the alleys of San Gimignano

take a trip to san gimignano: "the manhattan of the middle ages" | enjoy a fascinating walk through the alleys of san gimignano

It was during the XIII century when San Gimignano gained a relevant economic position in Tuscany. The main reason of this economic prosperity was the opulence of the surrounding nature. Indeed in this area you can still experience a refined variety of saffron, olive oil, and wines. As a consequence of this economic development, the urban aristocracy invested substantial resources in building civic and religious monuments. Even the great Dante Alighieri in 1300 visited this tiny, beautiful town.

Enjoy a walk across San Gimignano, and experience the pleasure of getting lost in its alleys. Along its streets you will find old beautiful palaces with bars, restaurants, and shops of every kind.

In San Gimignano you will also find refined workshops that specialize in the manufacturing of leather goods.

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That's why they call it "The town of fine towers"!

take a trip to san gimignano: "the manhattan of the middle ages" | that's why they call it "the town of fine towers"!

What mostly characterizes San Gimignano is its breathtaking skyline embellished by its incredibly well preserved towers. The view in the picture has been taken from the highest tower of the town: Torre Grossa (Big Tower), which is 54 meters high (roughly 177 feet).

Indeed, raising high towers was the way the local aristocracy used to show the economic prosperity of San Gimignano during the XIII century. According to the most accredited statements, there were 72 towers during the Middle Ages.

The highest towers of San Gimignano are Torre Rognosa (52 meters - 170 feet high), and Torre Grossa (54 meters - 177 feet high). Nowadays, only 16 towers remain from the original 72 towers of the past.

Torre Grossa was built between 1300 and 1311, and is located in Piazza Duomo, close to the Podestà Palace. You can visit both of these buildings by buying just one ticket, and gain access to a beautiful art gallery, as well as an astonishing view point at the top of the Torre Grossa.

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Visit San Gimignano to experience a unique sightseeing opportunity

Take a nice walk across San Gimignano where you’ll discover its unique cultural heritage. Make sure you visit all its monuments and buildings, as its Cathedral and the Podestà Palace are main points of interest Don’t miss the typical products of this area, such as the saffron, the olive oil, and the local ham.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Meet Giuseppe, an Italian musician and avid traveler. Born in Sicily, he soaked in the rich history and breathtaking landscapes before moving to Rome at 17 to pursue Jazz music studies, culminating...Read more

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