The "Medieval Manhattan"
In all of Tuscany, San Gimignano is easily recognisable and iconic for its forest of towers. This ancient Tuscan hilltown is a dream for people all over the world, for to be there is to be immersed in medieval times. As a World Heritage Site since 1990, San Gimignano (also known as “Medieval Manhattan”) is best known for the 65 towers that rise over the town’s rooftops. Thirteen of these magnificent towers survive today, and they still shape a skyline that is without a doubt unique.
What to see in San Gimignano
A visit to San Gimignano doesn’t end by just looking upwards. The Cathedral, completed in 1148, is also a must-see, considered one of Tuscany’s most precious. Built around three naves, this cathedral is a true anthology of frescos from the Florentine school: from Benozzo Gozzoli’s San Sebastiano to Domenico Ghirlandaio’s Episodes from the life of Santa Fina, to the wooden statues by Jacopo della Quercia.
Also of interest is the Palazzo Comunale, which today is home to the town museum and art gallery, where you can admire the works of artists like Pinturicchio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Domenico di Michelino and Pier Francesco Fiorentino. You can also visit the palazzo’s sala di Dante (Dante’s room), which contains a Maestà by Lippo Memmi, and climb the Torre del Podestà (or Torre Grossa, meaning ‘fat tower’), whose 54 metres have made it San Gimignano’s tallest tower ever since it was built in 1311. But there’s much more besides. At the Torture Museum you will find an unusual collection of instruments dating back to the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Visits to San Gimignano go beyond looking up at the towers. As one of Tuscany’s most precious sites, the Cathedral was completed in 1148. The three naves of this cathedral are filled with frescoes from the Florentine school, including San Sebastiano by Benozzo Gozzoli, Episodes from the Life of Santa Fina by Domenico Ghirlandaio, and wooden statues by Jacopo della Quercia.
You can also admire the works of artists such as Pinturicchio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Domenico di Michelino and Pier Francesco Fiorentino in the Palazzo Comunale, which houses the town museum and art gallery. It is also possible to visit the palazzo’s sala di Dante, which contains a Maestà by Lippo Memmi, as well as climb the Torre del Podestà (or Torre Grossa, meaning ‘fat tower’), which stands 54 meters tall, making it San Gimignano’s tallest tower. The list goes on and on. There is an unusual collection of torture instruments on display at the Torture Museum that date back to the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.
La Rocca is the center for tasting and documentation of local wine and produce for Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Experience. With the help of images, lights, sounds, voices, videos, holograms, and 360-degree headsets, you can learn about wine history through a tasting table and a multimedia trail.
Located in the ancient Etruscan territory of Valdelsa, the town retains all the charm of its ancient roots. A section of the Via Francigena passes through San Gimignano connecting Gambassi Terme and Monteriggioni. San Gimignano is only a few miles from Castelvecchio Nature Reserve.
Typical Dishes and Produce
In 1993, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano became the first Tuscan white wine to receive the Denominazione di Origine Controllata label (in 1993). The leading agricultural produce is saffron, which was awarded a DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) certificate in 2005.
How to get to San Gimignano from Villa Vianci
San Gimignano is only 15 mi away from us and it is not difficult to drive there. However, if you prefer not to drive, you can ask us to book a a taxi shuttle for you. (Please note that in peak seasons this kind of service is very requested. We suggest you to book it ahead of time.)
If you go by car we suggest you to to follow this google maps itinerary that will guide you to P2 parking lot.