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Gallery Cappannelle

San Gimignano: 8 Things to Do and See


Sam Gimignano

(110km 1h30min) San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town.The main sights are The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant' Agostino. San Gimignano is a UNESCO Site


Arriving in San Gimignano after passing from Florence, Pisa or Siena, is certainly less than impressed by the exterior of the Cathedral. The simplicity of the Romanesque facade of the twelfth century, in fact, does not anticipate the wonders of the interior. Divided into three naves, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta preserves masterpieces on the walls. On the top of the counter is the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian by Benozzo Gozzoli while in the central part of the extraordinary Judgement Taddeo di Bartolo. Along the right wall are the Stories of the New Testament, the students of Simone Martini, and on the left Stories of the Old Testament by Bartolo di Fredi. The transept hides two other treasures: the polychrome wooden Crucifix of 1200 and the Chapel of Santa Fina

Where: nell'omonina Piazza del Duomo
When: January 1 to January 15 / February 1 to March 31 / November 1 to November 15 / December 1 to December 31
From Monday to Saturday: 10:00 to 16:40
Sundays and religious holidays: 12:30 to 16:40

April 1 to October 31
Monday to Friday: 10:00 to 19:10
Saturday: 10:00 to 17:10
Sundays and religious holidays: 12:30 to 19:10

Closing for sightseeing:
November 16 to November 30 / January 16 to January 30 / December 25 / January 1/31 January / Sunday carnival / 12 March / first Sunday of August.
As Church and Chapel of Santa Fina € 3.5


Santa Saint Fina has not lived an easy life. After the death of his mother decided to live until his death praying stretched over a wooden board. According to legend, St. Gregory the Great announced the death and thus eternal life on the feast day of the saint. This is what he says, beautifully, Ghirlandaio with its frescoes in the chapel of the Cathedral. This scene is located on the right wall, and portrays the holy expanse, alongside with the two attendants, and San Gregorio in the sky that announces the martyrdom. Just this refers to a mouse hidden under the bench: Santa Fina died eaten by rats and worms. On the left wall are painted the Funeral of St. Fina, when the time came three miracles: the old nurse Beldia kneeling, his hands between those of Fina, was freed from paralysis. The tearful child touching the feet of the saint regained his sight. The bells of all the towers of San Gimignano were played by angels, as indicated by the angel flying to the highest tower.


If the Dome is the religious symbol of San Gimignano, the People's Palace is its counterpart Civic. Together, a few meters from each other, form the unique architectural ensemble of the Cathedral Square. The Palazzo Comunale (or Podesta) is on the left of the square, between the Torre Grossa and the Loggia del Comune. It housed the authority of the government during public ceremonies and was built expropriating the houses to the family of Ardinghelli, head-faction of the Ghibellines. The building now houses the Museo Civico di San Gimignano, of which we speak to step 4. In fact this is the New Palace of the Podesta, where he moved the city government in 1337. Until then, the mayor lived in near Old Palace Podesta's located in front of the Duomo. He is recognized by the mighty "Torre Rognosa" and the beautiful Torre Chigi. On the right of the square there are the two "towers of Salvucci" rich merchants Guelph who had made a fortune with wear. The two towers rivaled those of Ardinghelli that were right in front.


The Civic Museum of San Gimignano, housed in the Palazzo del Popolo, announces its beauty since the entry courtyard, with the beautiful tank of 1361 and the frescoes of Sodoma (Sant'Ivo that does justice). After the flight of steps leads to the Dante's Hall, named in honor of the poet who lived in San Gimignano in 1300 to help the cause of a large Guelph League. The room is decorated by wonderful Majesty of Lippo Memmi (1317), inspired by the one painted by Simone Martini in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena. After the hall Adunanze Dungeons, from which the scale for the Torre Grossa (exceptional view on the roofs), we come to the Art Gallery with works by Pinturicchio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi.

When: April 1 to September 30: 9:30 to 19:00 1 October to 31 March: 11:00 to 17:30 December 25 (closed) 1 January: 12:30 to 17:30
How much: Adults: € 5.00 Concessions: € 4.00


Extraordinarily scenic, Piazza della Cisterna is obligatory point of passage of any visit to San Gimignano. It is located at the top of the hill on which is built the Tuscan town, so it's a good place to rest after facing the terrible climb! It takes its name from the octagonal well located in the center, and was built by the Podesta Guccio of Malavolti, whose coat of arms (a scale) is carved on the stone of the well. Harmonious and collection, is certainly the most beautiful pizza of San Gimignano and one of the most beautiful in Tuscany. If Piazza del Duomo is the political and religious center, Piazza della Cisterna is always the square "commercial" because here were the workshops were held and the market and the rides. Looking toward one another via Castello Tortoli palace, with its four elegant windows fourteenth century, the tower of Pucci, Albergo della Cisterna, the Ridolfi palace, towers and houses of the Becci and Cugnanesi, the palace and the palace Pellari Ardinghelli with the two towers. Across the square is the Devil's Tower, so named because it is said that the proprietaro, back from a long trip, he found higher. Who had been able to do in his absence if the devil himself? For parking in the square do not miss an ice cream from Gelateria Swings, known and award-winning worldwide.


If you want to discover the endless ways that men have invented for torturing other men and are not easily impressed, the Torture Museum is worth a visit. In reality they are two small museums: the first, as you enter the village, exhibits on three floors a full path on the methods of torture around the world, with tools and original tools, photos and detailed explanations and also some dummy gruesomely dismembered. The other museum is a bit 'more about the theme and the death penalty. The cost of the ticket (€ 10) is a bit 'too much, but you pay for the uniqueness of the path.

Where: Porta San Giovanni and before Piazza della Cisterna
When: Every day from 10 to 19 (winter only Saturday and Sunday)
How much: € 10.00; reduced € 7.00; groups € 5.00. Ticket valid for free admission to the Museum of the Death Penalty


Small chest of works of art, usually the Church of St. Augustine is omitted from the hasty visitor of San Gimignano. Deserves, however, a more careful examination to discover the many jewels. Starting from the Chapel of San Bartolo with the altar by Benedetto da Majano. The vault of the church was painted by Sebastiano Mainardi and depicts the doctors of the Church (Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome and Gregory) while the tiled floor is the work of Andrea della Robbia. The two masterpieces of the church are the Coronation of Maria del Pollaiuolo, on the high altar and the story of the life of St. Augustine, the cycle of frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli in the chapel choir.

Where: Porta San Matteo
When: November 1 to March 31: 7:00 to 12:00, 15.00 - 18.00. April 1 to October 31: 7:00 to 12:00, 15:00 to 7:00 p.m.
How much: Free


Left the Cathedral on the left, a small road leads to the Rocca di Montestaffoli, built to defend against attacks from San Gimignano Siena after the submission to Florence. Not much remains of the ancient fortress but it is worth climbing in this green space to enjoy breathtaking views of San Gimignano and the Elsa valley. The only tower left standing of a complex defense system, is the vantage point for enjoying the view. The fortress of Montestaffoli is now a place of cultural events and festivals, in particular in the Joust of Sticks that takes place in the third weekend of June.


Vernaccia and Saffron are the two typical products of San Gimignano, famous all over the world. Saffron, yellow gold, has repeatedly saved San Gimignano because used as currency to pay off debts incurred during the secular wars with Siena and Florence. The value of this food can be understood considering the amount of flowers needed to make one pound of saffron: 150,000! Vernaccia white wine, dry and harmonious, is produced in San Gimignano and was always particularly appreciated by Dante, Boccaccio, Ludovico il Moro and Lorenzo the Magnificent. Among the typical dishes of the place, the classic Tuscan crostini with chicken liver, cold cuts and local pecorino, pasta with wild boar, seconds mainly meat.


  1. Fattoria Poggio Alloro

  2. Cum Quibus

  3. Da l' Mariani

  4. Caffè Giardino

  5. D! Vineria

  6. Il Ceppo Toscano

  7. Bel Soggiorno

  8. Ricca Pizza

  9. La Mangiatoia

  10. Echoes


  1. Hotel Vecchio Asilo

  2. Hotel Sovestro

  3. Hotel Leon Bianco

  4. Casolare Le Terre Rosse

  5. Hotel L'Antico Pozzo

  6. Hotel Villa San Paolo

  7. Hotel Molino di Foci

  8. Hotel Cisterna

  9. Hotel Santa Chiara

  10. Hotel Pescille


(110km 1h30min) San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town.The main sights are The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant' Agostino. San Gimignano is a UNESCO Site



San Gimignano is an Italian town of 7,770 inhabitants located in the province of Siena in Tuscany.
For the characteristic medieval architecture of its historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site of San Gimignano, despite some reversals nineteenth and twentieth century, it is mostly intact in two-fourteenth century and is one of the best examples in Europe of urban organization of the city.

The municipality of San Gimignano extends for 138 square kilometers and is situated on a high hill in the Val d'Elsa. The altitude difference is between a minimum of 64 meters above sea level in the plain of the river Elsa at Certaldo to a maximum of 631 meters in the area of ​​Cornocchio, the capital is set at 324 m above sea level


The origins
San Gimignano was built on a site inhabited by the Etruscans certainly, at least from the third century BC, as evidenced by numerous archaeological finds (especially tombs) in the surrounding area. The hill was definitely chosen for strategic issues, being dominant (324 m) over the upper Val d'Elsa.
On the slopes of Poggio del Comune (624 m asl) are the ruins of Castelvecchio, a village of Lombard period.

The first mention dates back to 929.
In the Middle Ages the town was on a pillar of Via Francigena, which Sigerico, Archbishop of Canterbury, traveled between 990 and 994 and which for him represented the nineteenth stage (Mansi) of its return route from Rome to England . Sigerico the appointed Sce Gemiane, signaling the village as a point of intersection with the road between Pisa and Siena.
According to tradition the name comes from the Holy Bishop of Modena, who would defend the village from the occupation of Attila.
The first city walls dating back to 998 and included the hill of Montestaffoli, where there was already a fortress home market owned by the Bishop of Volterra, and the slope of the Tower with the bishop's castle.

The thirteenth century
Taddeo di Bartolo, San Gimignano from Modena who holds the city of San Gimignano, City Museum (San Gimignano)

About 1150, despite the opening of a new route of the Via Francigena, San Gimignano continued to be an emerging center, with a policy of territorial expansion and significant growth of the business. It was during this period that he formed two "villages" outside the walls: that of St. Matthew, to Pisa, and that of St. John, to Siena, both along a new "high road", which were incorporated into the walls with the new route completed in 1214.
In 1199, at the height of its splendor Economically, the country gained its independence from the municipal to the bishops of Volterra. There were some internal struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines (respectively headed by the irreducible Ardinghelli and Salvucci), but from the thirteenth century, under the Ghibellines, dates from the period of greatest economic splendor, which was based on trade in precious local agricultural products, including the most sought was saffron, sold in Italy (Pisa, Lucca, Genoa) and abroad (France and the Netherlands, even up to Syria and Egypt [4]). Moreover, like other Tuscan towns, spread financial speculation and usury. The strong economy allowed the creation of an urban aristocracy, who expressed his political and social supremacy in the construction of the towers in the fourteenth century it grew to 72 towers (today there are perhaps 14).
The huge accumulated capital was invested during the thirteenth century in important public works, which gave the town the articulation of urban spaces still visible today.
In 1251 the walls inglobarono Montestaffoli, but a few years later, in 1255, the city was taken by the Guelphs of Florence who ordered the destruction of the walls. Having regained independence in 1261 and returned to the Ghibelline supremacy after the battle, the rebuilt the walls of San Gimignano including also the slope of the Tower. Since the conformation of the town was divided into four districts, each corresponding to a main door: that of Piazza di Castello, of St. Matthew and St. John.
The religious orders, supported by the municipality, settled in the city since the mid-thirteenth century: the Franciscans outside San Giovanni (1247), the Augustinians at the door St. Matthew (1280), the Dominicans in Montestaffoli (1335) and the Benedictine St. Jerome at the Porta San Jacopo (1337).
From 8 May 1300 the City had the honor of hosting Dante Alighieri as an ambassador of the Guelph League in Tuscany.

The decline of the Medici era and contemporary
The fourteenth century was a century of crisis that did not spare San Gimignano: troubled by internal struggles, it was heavily affected by the black plague and famine of 1348, which decimated the population. In 1351 the city exhausted voluntarily handed himself in Florence, gave up its autonomy and a political role in the arena of Tuscany. From that year the fortress of Montestaffoli, while in 1358 the walls were reinforced.
Despite the economic and political decline, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries were important from the point of view of art, thanks to the presence in the city of many masters, Siena or Florence more often, especially by the religious orders called to embellish their possessions. They worked in San Gimignano Memmo di Filippuccio, Lippo Memmi and Federico, Taddeo di Bartolo, Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Sebastiano Mainardi (native of San Gimignano), Piero del Pollaiuolo, etc..
The decline and marginalization of the city in the following centuries were the conditions that allowed the extraordinary crystallization of its medieval appearance.
At the plebiscite in 1860 for the annexation of Tuscany to Sardinia the "yes" received not, however briefly, the majority of claimants (1122 out of total of 2275), a sign of opposition to the annexation. [5]
At the end of the nineteenth century they began to rediscover the uniqueness and beauty of the town, which was submitted in full to the monumental constraint in 1929. In 1990 it was declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
During World War II, the country was bombed by the Americans for ten days, the Torre Grossa was destroyed the bell (a new one was given after the war by the people of the Soviet Union), a house collapsed in the square and a piece of the cathedral; the bombing began on Thursday, market day, and this caused some dead a young mother was shot in the foot by a splinter, and had his leg amputated. After ten days spent in shelters that San Gimignano, the priest was able to convince the Americans that in the village there were no more than ten Germans, and that they could storm the city without risk.
Monuments and places of interest


Towers of San Gimignano
The towers UNESCO-protected World Heritage
Historic Centre of San Gimignano

Type Architectural
Criterion C (i) (iii) (iv)
No indication of danger
Recognized since 1990

San Gimignano is especially famous for its medieval towers that still stand out on its landscape, which have earned him the nickname of Manhattan of the Middle Ages. Between the 72 towers and tower-houses, existing in the heyday of the City, it five in 1580 and today there are sixteen, with other scapitozzate intravedibili in the urban fabric. The oldest is the Rognosa tower, which is 51 meters high, while the highest is the Torre del Podesta, also known as Torre Grossa, of 54 meters. A regulation of 1255 forbade private citizens to build the tallest towers of the tower Rognosa (which at the time was the highest), although the two most important families, and Ardinghelli Salvucci, they built two towers little lower than almost equal size, to demonstrate their power.

  • Bell tower of the Collegiate

  • Towers of Ardinghelli

  • Torre dei Becci

  • Tower Campatelli

  • Torre Chigi

  • Tower of Cugnanesi

  • Devil's Tower

  • Tower Ficherelli or Ficarelli

  • Torre Grossa

  • Tower of Palazzo Pellari

  • Tower-house Minnows

  • Tower Combs

  • Tower Rognosa

  • Torri dei Salvucci

In some texts, the number of towers is reduced from 16 to 14: Counting in general are removed from the bell tower of the Collegiate Church and the Casa-Torre fishes that have different characteristics from the others.

Religious Architecture

Piazza della Cisterna view from Torre Grossa
Collegiate Church: also commonly known as the Cathedral, completed in 1148, is considered one of the finest examples of Tuscan Romanesque. Built on three aisles, the walls are frescoed. Among the valuable works in fresco: San Sebastian by Benozzo Gozzoli and the Story of Santa Fina by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Chapel of Santa Fina, among those of the Sienese school: Old and New Testament by Bartolo di Fredi and the workshop of Memmi and Judgement Taddeo di Bartolo. Notable sculptures by Giuliano and Benedetto da Majano el 'wooden Annunciation by Jacopo della Quercia.
St. Augustine Church: This church also contains many frescoes, including the Chapel of St. Bartolo di Benedetto da Majano, the stories of the life of Saint Augustine by Benozzo Gozzoli, and other remains of frescoes, tables and paintings by different authors ( Benozzo Gozzoli, Piero del Pollaiuolo, Pier Francesco Fiorentino, Vincenzo Tamagni, Sebastiano Mainardi).

  • Church of Santa Maria

  • Shrine of Mary, Mother of Divine Providence

  • Church of the Quercecchio and former Oratory of St. Francis, houses the Museum ornithological

  • Church of the Conservatory of Santa Chiara

  • Church of Our Lady of Enlightenment

  • Church of San Bartolo

  • Church of St. Francis

  • Church of St. James in the Temple

  • Church of San Lorenzo Bridge

  • Church of St. Peter

  • Church of St. Jerome

  • Convent of Monte Oliveto

  • Loggia of the Baptistery (Oratorio di San Giovanni)

  • Hospital of Santa Fina

  • Abbey of the Holy Sepulchre and St. Mary in Helmets

  • Civil architectures [edit]

  • House Salvestrini

  • Medieval sources: journey on the road outside the Porta delle Fonti, access the second walls of

  • San Gimignano. Their construction dates from the fourteenth century, when they were asked to cover a source in Lombard stone of the ninth century. in ancient times these were the public sources in the area, where they drew water, and they washed their clothes.

  • Loggia del Comune

  • Municipal Palace or Palazzo del Podesta again: once housed the mayor, currently houses the civic museum and art gallery containing masterpieces by artists such as Pinturicchio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Domenico di Michelino, Pier Francesco Fiorentino, etc.. Moreover, also in the Town Hall, you can visit the hall of Dante with the Majesty of Lippo Memmi and access the Torre Grossa, 54 m high dating back to 1311.
    The old palace of the Podesta formerly used for civil functions before the construction of the new building, was later turned into a prison and then (in the sixteenth century) in the theater.

  • Palace Baccinelli

  • Palace Cortesi

  • Palace Ficarelli

  • Palace Franzesi Ceccarelli

  • Palace Lucii

  • Palace Mangani

  • Pratellesi Palace: one of the most interesting palaces of the city, dates back to the fourteenth century and has a fine sixteenth-century fresco by Vincenzo Tamagni.

  • Palazzo Razzi

  • Building Talei Franzesi

  • Palace Tamburini

  • Palace Tinacci

  • Palazzo Tortoli Tortoli-or Treccani

  • Palace Useppi

  • Palace Vichi

  • Pharmacy of Santa Fina, using material from the Pharmacy of the Hospital of Santa Fina, which reproduces the old pharmacy, with ceramic and glass containers and medicines.

Military architecture

  • Walls of San Gimignano

  • Porta San Giovanni

  • Porta San Matteo

  • Porta San Jacopo

  • Porta delle Fonti

  • Bastion St. Francis

  • Rocca di Montestaffoli

Natural Areas

  • Castelvecchio Nature Reserve

  • Archaeological Areas

  • Necropolis Cellole

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