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Here my suggetion to climb up a tower in San Gimignano, the Torre Grossa. One day walk tour in San Gimignano, discovering medieval art and tasting a super icecream! So, let’s go!
San Gimignano sun-flooded is a spectacle for the eyes.
I come back there in November to see it with less crowd and to identify myself in the medieval atmosphere that can be seen in every glimpse.
Today 13 stone towers have remained.
Thinking of how much effort, dedication (and investment by powerful contractors families) were necessary for their realization! The craftsmen who made this architectural gem possible had to really have Masters.
In 1300, however, the towers came to be seventy-two, a way for powerful families to demonstrate their prestige.
In that period, a good part of the economic power of San Gimignano was due to the Via Francigena and the Saffron.
Saffron was a fine spice and was sold in Italy and abroad.
What to see in San Gimignano in 1 day: wonder walk tour
The Town hall and how to climb up the Torre Grossa
Strict vigil on the Piazza del Duomo, the new palace of the Podestà. Today it houses the Civic Museum where you can admire the rich Pinacoteca and the frescoes in the Sala di Dante, an unmissable stop for art lovers!
The access to the Torre Grossa, 54 meters high, is included in the entrance ticket of the Museo Civico.
Climb to the top of the tower to enjoy a 360-degree view of San Gimignano and the Tuscan countryside.
Let the vineyards, the olive groves and the woods fill your eyes!
The Duomo and the ‘Rognosa’ tower
On the same square you will also find the Duomo, a real treasure chest, Romanesque on the outside and gothic inside, decorated with frescoes by the School of Simone Martini. The Chapel of Santa Fina, then, a jewel frescoed by Ghirlandaio!
On the opposite side is the Palazzo Vecchio del Podestà, with the Torre Rognosa which was a prison.
Piazza della Cisterna and .. delicious icecream!
La ‘Piazza della Cisterna‘ has its fulcrum in the octagonal well. The travertine well was built in 1273 and then enlarged by the Podestà.
You will notice its emblem, a staircase, which adorns the well.
The buildings around seem to protect this umbilicus that guarded the precious treasure of the community, the water.
It’s nice to take the time to observe the details of the windows, the noble coats of arms while enjoying the excellent ice cream in Gelateria Dondoli, with unusual tastes! I got the ricotta ice cream with caramelized figs and the rosemary raspberry: a delight!
In San Gimignano are still visible the fourteenth-century public Fonts decorated by ten Romanesque arches.
Spezieria dello Spedale di Santa Fina
You will reach it with a pleasant walk along Via San Matteo. It presents a collection of ancient majolica and a collection of herbariums and amphorae that were the tools used by profession of the Spices. A visit that can end with the museum of modern art upstairs.
Arriving from da Porta San Matteo, let’s follow Via Cellolese and you will find a church with Romanesque exterior and a beautiful sundial.
Come into the church and continue towards the altar. Go to the back of the apse where a wonderful surprise awaits you: the frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli shine with color and vitality, not to be missed!
Torre and Casa Campatelli
Recently renovated by FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano ), Casa Campatelli and the tower present the story of a typical Tuscan family from another era.
‘La Francigena’ bookshop
In via Mainardi, there is the bookshop La Francigena, it invites to calm to discover both used books and the interesting titles of the territory of San Gimignano, Via Francigena and Templars.
As always I try to visit at least one bookshop. I think they can tell something special..
Dove parcheggiare a San Gimignano
San Gimignano is equipped with paid parking.
If you arrive early in the morning or you want to roll the dice, in Via Ghiacciaia there are free parking lots (before the entrance of those reserved for residents), update the time disc.
San Gimignano tourism website