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San Gimignano

San Gimignano - UNESCO World Heritages in Tuscany San Gimignano - Tuscany

San Gimignano is an old Etruscan settlement.

The history of the town in Middle Ages consists of never-ending confrontation, which includes long-lasting competition with neighboring Volterra and struggle among rich families inside. Most of the towers in the town, which impress visitors even today, were built during that unquiet time, in the XII – XIII centuries. There used to be 72 of them, but only 13 have been retained. Yet, the feeling of power still presents here. It is hard to believe, but these defensive constructions not only fulfilled their primary tasks, but also used to be dwelling houses.

San Giminiano obtained its utmost power by the XI century, though it didn't last long. Terrible plague took a lot of lives, the town weakened, and finally got under the influence of Florence.

There are two entrances to the historical part of the town, the southern gates of San Giovanni Port (Porta San Giovanni), and the northern gates of San Matteo Port (Porta San Matteo). The Square of della Cisterna is located in the central part of the town. It got its name after the fountain, constructed in the year of 1273. Next to it is the Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), with stairs going up to the Roman Cathedral of Collegiata. The facade of the Church seems very plain, but there are outstanding frescoes inside, which portray episodes from the Old Testament and the New Testament.

There is the Tower of Rognosa rising opposite to the Cathedral. It is a part of the Palace of Podesta (Palazzo del Podesta). The Palace of Popolo (Palazzo del Popolo) is located to the left of it. Dante Agileri encouraged residents of the town to support the Party of the Guelphs in political struggle in one of its rooms.

If you come up the 54-meter long tower of the palace, yo can enjoy a fascinating scenery. There is the Town Museum close to the palace, where you can get acquainted with paintings of the XII–XV century belonging to Siena or Florence schools. You can find the ruins of the town fortress of Rocca to the west from the Cathedral Square.

The retained part of it today houses the Wine Museum. If you love thrilling experiences, you can visit the Tortures Museum.

Grand gardens (le dei Martiri di Montemaggio) spread out by the southern gates, behind the town wall.

San Giminiano invites you to do a sightseeing tour of the town.

Photo: Julia Riabushkina


The Festival of the Thrush in Montalcino 2012
The festival of the thrush or Sagra del Tordo is held in the old Tuscan town of Montalcino on the last October weekend. Thousands of tourists go to Montalcino while the festival. If you want to see the festival of the thrush, you should take care of accommodation in Montalcino in advance. It’s better to come a bit earlier for the festival. On the day of the competition, you will have to leave your car far away in the valley and walk a couple of kilometers up. Don’t forget to ask your landlords to help you buy tickets for the ceremonial dinner and the tournament.
Tuscany: Gastronomic Festivals in October
Towns and villages of Tuscany hold various gastronomic festivals regularly from May to October. These events are dedicated to some product or dish typical for this area. Usually such festivals are organized on days-off. Sometimes they last for a couple of weekends. Fairs are often combined with diverse entertainment program. The October of 2011 offers a number of gastronomic events in Tuscany.
Tarot Garden
The Tarot garden as a work of art is a combination of landscape design, sculpture and architecture. The garden is located on the southern slope of the Garavicchio hill in the Tuscan Maremma, a few kilometers away from the town of Capalbio. The Franko-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle created it.