San Gimignano, located halfway between Florence and Siena, is a famous and well preserved medieval walled village. It stands tall on a hill and with its rising towers and walls it makes up for a fascinating sight from the surrounding valleys.
Back in the time of it’s glory, San Gimignano had around 72 tower-houses, build by the patrician families. These towers were built as a symbol of the wealth and power of the noble families and although today there are only 14 preserved, the feudal ambient and appearance still remains.
As the epitome of a Tuscan hill town, San Gimignano is high on the list of visitors and certainly grabs the attention of passing drivers. With the plague in the middle ages, San Gimignano lost a big part of its habitants and remained vulnerable to outside forces.
Its independent glory didn’t last past the 14th century, when the tower town fell under the control of Florence. The Florentines would proclaim their rule by ordering the remover of the towers in the hill towns they conquered. However for some unknown reason, San Gimignano became like the region’s glamour girl with well preserved original skyline.
The towered skylines were a norm in Middle Aged Tuscany, with noble families building towers on the tuscan hills, some with the sole purpose of boosting their egos. One of the most notable structures in the medieval town is the old well standing in the centre of the main piazza. The well is surrounded by cafes, gelaterias and restaurants, which in the middle ages were inns and taverns. It is here were the most famous Tuscan white wine comes from: Vernaccia di San Gimignano, light, fruity and affordable.