San Gimignano is one of the most picturesque cities in the region of Tuscany, just 39 kilometers from the city of Florence, on the hill of the Val d'Elsa (Val d'Elsa) 334 meters above the sea level. The historical city center is surrounded by vineyards,gardens and olive groves. This city is one of the most visited in Tuscany, thanks to the fantastic landscapes and unique medieval architecture. Here you can admire the majestic towers, old squares, churches, palaces, city walls and fountains.
The town of San Gimignano is situated halfway between Siena and Florence, which is very advantageous for travellers. The city is known for the production of white wine “Vernaccia” marked as category DOCG. The city also attracts tourists thanks to the medieval atmosphere combined with modern infrastructures.
It was named in honor of the town of Bishop of Modena - Gimignano which, according to legend, stopped the attack of the Huns led by Attila. On that times through the town was passed an important trade route Via Francigena which connected Rome and France. During this period, the city had known economic and cultural rise. In 1199 the city became an autonomous town , and began to fight with its neighbors. In the middle of the XI century the city was the battlefield between Guelphs and Ghibellines. Exactly at that time it was built the first tower not only for defense, but also as a sign of force.
In 1348 broke out of the bubonic plague, which caused the decline of the city and already in 1353 the city was forced to surrender to the power of Florence. San Gimignano has preserved its shape due to the fact that in 12th century was established a decree for banning the destruction of the magnificent towers.
Since 1990 the city is in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
San Gimignano in Italy is called the place of towers. There were more than seventy building that show their influence. Nowadays only 14 of them are survived. Now these towers are the main attractions of the town.
The town has others attractions, which are located around the two areas. The first area Piazza della Cisterna of triangular shape was used as a place of trade, the second square Piazza del Duomo is the political center of the town. Near the Piazza del Duomo is the palace of the Commune, it is three tiered building. On the upper floors there is now the Municipal Museum that consists of 10 exhibition galleries. Here are contained magnificent masterpieces of the great Italian masters. In the "Pinakotheka" are kept masterpieces of Rinaldo da Siena Pinturikko, Fiorentino, Benozzo Gozzoli. Near the palace of the Commune is the Old Town Hall dated 12th century.
It is recommended to visit the museum of tortures situated at the entrance of the city. It houses a collection of tools,used for the real tortures, of 15-18 centuries.
Among the luxurious palaces of San Gimignano is interested to visit Palazzo Nuovo del Podestà and of course the Palazzo del Popolo of the 13th century. The Cathedral of 1148 and the Church of the Holy Augostina with impressive frescoes of Gozzoli can also attract your attention.
Every year at the end of June there is a festival of harvest. Piazza della Cisterna organizes exciting tournaments of mounted knights.
Along the street there are many cafes and restaurants where you can try delicious local food and drink excellent Tuscan wine.
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