San Gimignano, how to climb up the medieval Towers

San Gimignano, how to climb up the medieval Towers

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gimignano torri medioevo
San Gimignano, Piazza della Cisterna


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.

san gimignano torri salire
Le Torri viste da via San Matteo
gimignano torri medioevo
San Gimignano – Le strette finestre delle Torri


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!

San Gimignano, piazza della Cisterna view from Torre Grossa


San Gimignano,  landscape from Torre Grossa


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.

gimignano torre rognosa
San Gimignano, Torre Rognosa on the right


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!

san gimignano piazza cisterna
San Gimignano, octagonal well
San Gimignano,  Dondoli icecream


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.

San Gimignano, village glimpse


Sant’Agostino church

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!

San Gimignano, Torri medioevali in pietra


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..

La armoniosa campagna toscana vista dalla Torre Grossa


Parking in 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.


Useful info

San Gimignano tourism website



Ciao, mi chiamo Serena e Amarisla è il mio progetto dedicato alla Toscana e ai Giardini, un taccuino di viaggio con i miei racconti e consigli. Sono nata e cresciuta a Milano, ma da 12 anni vivo in Toscana perchè ho dato ascolto a un sogno: trasferirmi dalla città alle colline senesi..

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