San Gimignano Journals

Medievil San Gimigniano

A September 1999 trip to San Gimignano by dglawless

Collegiata Cathedral Photo, San Gimignano, Italy More Photos
Quote: San Gimigniano is one of the best presereved medievil city in Italy. It is a walled city at the top of a hill. The residents built towers to watch for intruders and to allow them to pour hot oil on their foes as they approached.

Medievil San Gimigniano

Overview

San Gimigniao Photo, San Gimignano, Italy
Quote:
There were once 72 towers and now 14 still stand. There are also beautiful Frescoes you can see. You are able to climb the largest tower for an incredible view of the surrounding valley. The most impressive thing is how well the city is preserved and the beautiful view.Quick Tips: We took a bus from Florence to get to San Gimigniano. It was about an hour ride and it offered an interesting view. Wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking on cobblestone streets. Take your time to enjoy the architecture and the incredible views.Best Way To Get Around: Walking is the only way to get around. No cars are allowed. Again, take your time and wear comfortable shoes. ...Read More

Collegiata Cathedral

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Attraction | "Collegiata"

Collegiata Cathedral Photo, San Gimignano, Italy
Quote:
This cathedral contains spectacular frescoes by early Renaissance artists. Some of them have been damaged over time and are in the process of being restored. The Santa Fina Chapel has frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio, the most well known of the artists that worked on the cathedral. Even though there has been some damage it is amazing how well they have stood the test of time. The neighborhood around the cathedral will also offer great treats as you wonder off the beaten path down the narrow alleyways. Colorful plants hidden in the most unlikely places and colorful doors and gates. We spent a lot of time just admiring the frescoes and the view from the church. This is worth seeing whi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 26, 2001

Collegiata Cathedral

San Gimignano, Italy

Torre Grosso

Attraction | "Terra Grossa"

Torre Grosso Photo, San Gimignano, Italy
Quote:
Torre Grossa, or "big tower", is the largest of all the towers standing. You can climb to the top for a spectacular view. The climb is a long one and is not for people who are not physically fit. If you are, it is worth the climb. After making it to the top and spending some time catching my breath and hoping I wouldn’t die, I was able to appreciate the unbelievable view. The trek down was not nearly as difficult and all in all I was very glad I did it.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 26, 2001

Torre Grosso

San Gimignano, Italy

Torture Museum

Attraction

Quote:
Because this is a medieval city, it wouldn’t be complete without a torture museum. This is not for the faint of heart. I think I was haunted by the sheer deviance of the human mind when set to hurt another. There are all kinds of torture implements and stories of how the torture was carried out. It wasn't something we planned to do but walked by and decided to go in and see what it was all about. I didn’t last long and really wished I hadn’t gone in. I do not recommend it for anybody, but especially would not recommend it for children.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on June 26, 2001

Torture Museum

San Gimignano, Italy

Via del Castello

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Attraction

Via del Castello Photo, San Gimignano, Italy
Quote:
This is a street with lots of shops. I spent way too much money here. There are fine crafts, linens, woven goods and glass. The shops are in a big square with cobblestone streets. They line both sides and there are plenty to keep you busy all day. The shopkeepers were very friendly and it was fun to browse. There are also a couple of galleries that have some very nice art in many mediums. I purchased a beautiful sweater that is woven in one piece, a tablecloth, and some hand blown bottles. There are some wineries nearby with stores that sell their wines. The wine is very good and can be purchased at a very good price. None of the wine made it back to the U.S.! Be sure to leave...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 26, 2001

Via del Castello

San Gimignano, Italy

This and That

Story/Tip

Quote:
San Gimigniano was the place that was used as a prison for the women in the movie "Tea With Mussolini". It was like revisiting when I saw the movie. It was, in fact, used as a prison during WWII but was surprisingly spared a lot of damage during the war.

It stands high on a hill and the view is spectacular. It is a walled city and the only way you can travel around is on foot. No motor vehicles are allowed. This makes the experience even more enjoyable and is a great relief from the motor scooters of Rome and Florence.