The Towered Town
A few kilometers from the Taverna di Bibbiano you can visit one of the most fascinating villages in the world: San Gimignano. Its medieval towers will amaze you, along with many other architectural and landscape wonders of this unique and enchanted place.
San Gimignano in Brief
San Gimignano was already the seat of a small Etruscan village but began its history around the 10th century taking the name of the Holy Bishop of Modena San Gimignano.
In the Middle Ages San Gimignano became an important and rich city also thanks to the Via Francigena that crossed it and thanks to this wealth, San Gimignano had an extraordinary production of works of art that adorned churches and convents.
In 1199 San Gimignano became a free municipality fighting against Volterra and the neighboring municipalities.
The plague of 1348 and the consequent depopulation of the city threw San Gimignano into decline and, from the decay and abandonment of the following centuries, the city came out only when people rediscovered the beauty of San Gimignano and its extraordinary artistic and cultural heritage.
Must see in San Gimignano
Chiesa Collegiata (Cathedral)
Consecrated in 1148, it is enriched by very precious affereschi, including works of the Florentine school such as the Stories of Santa Fina del Ghirlandaio, San Sebastiano (Benozzo Gozzoli), Wooden Statues (Jacopo della Quercia).
Also works of the Sienese school: Old and New Testament (Bartolo di Fredi and “Bottega dei Memmi”); Universal Judgment (Taddeo di Bartolo); and sculptures by Giuliano and Benedetto da Maiano.
The Palazzo Comunale, also known as Palazzo del Popolo or Palazzo Nuovo del Podestà, is in the splendid Piazza del Duomo, next to the Collegiata, and houses the “historic” seat of the Civic Museums of San Gimignano.
The Sala del Consiglio, located on the first floor, is also called Sala Dante, in memory of the visit that the great Florentine poet made in 1299 to San Gimignano as ambassador of the Guelph league.
In the room there is a cycle of frescoes from the end of the 13th century depicting knights tournaments and hunting scenes dedicated to Charles of Anjou, depicted enthroned on the wall in front of the entrance.
Some characters pay homage to him with the gift of the hawk. the fresco is attributed to the Florentine painter Azzo di Masetto. On the right wall is painted the Madonna in Maestà by Lippo Memmi (1317).
Lippo Memmi is a painter of the Sienese school, active in the first half of the fourteenth century and a follower of Simone Martini.
Museum and "Torre Grossa"
The Civic Museum and Art Gallery of San Gimignano with works by Filippino Lippi, Pinturicchio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico di Michelino, Pier Francesco Fiorentino, Sebastiano Mainardi, Lorenzo di Niccolò di Martino, Coppo di Marcovaldo etc …
In addition, from the civic museum of San Gimignano you can visit the Torre Grossa (the Big Tower) or del Podestà built in 1311 and 54 meters high.
From the Torre Grossa, which can be visited with the same ticket as the Civic Museums, you can enjoy an unforgettable view of the town and the surrounding countryside.
Archaeological Museum of San Gimignano: with Etruscan, Roman and medieval archaeological finds from excavations and findings in the municipal area.
The exhibition consists of two sections: one dedicated to Etruscan-Roman art with finds from settlements found in the area and dating back to the 7th-1st century BC, the other is reserved for crafts (glass and ceramics), active in the city during the Middle Ages.