One-day Itinerary in San Gimignano, Tuscany
When we talk about Tuscany , some cities pop into our minds almost instantly and one of them, without a doubt, is San Gimignano. This small medieval town is famous for its towers and presents itself in a magnificent way to its visitors. Let’s get to our post of the day, One-day Itinerary in San Gimignano, Tuscany. Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams !!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Watch this beautiful video of San Gimignano made with a drone!
Location and attractions in San Gimignano
San Gimignano is located in the heart of Tuscany, between Siena and Florence ; it is known as the “Medieval Manhattan”, because, in its golden times, the city had 74 towers . Each tower was built by a noble family of the time and symbolizes, precisely, its own wealth. Today, however , we can only see 14 of them, but the medieval atmosphere is impressive, and envelops us as soon as we set foot in this fantastic city!
The towers that we can still see today are:
Collegiate Church of San Gimignano Belfry, Ardinghelli Tower, Becci Tower, Campatelli Tower, Chigi Tower, Cugnanesi Tower, Diavolo Tower, Ficherelli Tower, Grossa Tower, Tower of the Pellari Palace, Pesciolini Tower House, Pettini Tower, Rognosa Tower and Salvucci Tower. The tallest of them is right in the center of the panoramic view of the city; it is the Grossa Tower. This tower began to be erected in 1300, shortly after welcoming the exile Dante Alighieri, and was completed only in 1311; it is 54 meters high and is one of the few with visible interiors, where you can climb to the top. Below, a map so you can view the towers of San Gimignano. Shall we get to know Tuscany enogastronomy?
How about an Excursion through San Gimignano, Siena and Chianti? I n just one day you can visit these 3 incredible and unmissable places in Tuscany!
And now, without further ado, let’s start our tour of the incredible San Gimignano …
1) One-day itinerary in San Gimignano, Tuscany: VISIT PIAZZA DELLA CISTERNA
We start from Piazza Della Cisterna (“Cistern Square”), which is considered the most beautiful square in the city. Surrounded by noble houses and medieval towers, it was baptized, of course, because of the octagonal cistern that was built in the center of the square in 1273. The square is connected by a passage with Piazza del Duomo and, from there, you you can access the entire city with ease. It is also here the commercial heart of the city: bars, restaurants, hotels, shops and other businesses that spark the city.
Vicolo dell’Oro presents us with a beautiful view of the whole square and, in the past, it was here that the “battiloro”, artisans specialized in gold, worked; their job was to beat the metal to make thin sheets that served to adorn the images of the Saints that were on the altars of the churches. Leaving here, we go to another place of great importance in San Gimignano: Piazza Duomo, of course!
2) One-day itinerary in San Gimignano, Tuscany: VISIT THE DUOMO
Arriving at Piazza Duomo (“Cathedral Square”), we will visit the Cathedral of San Gimignano, perhaps one of the simplest in Italy, but its facade does not match its interior richness. When we enter, we notice that the Collegiate Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption is divided into three naves that perfectly preserve true masterpieces. We can observe two cycles of frescoes that completely cover the walls and present us in a magnificent way the stories of the New and Old Testaments. The frescoes here were painted by famous artists from the 14th century Siena school; they have never undergone restoration, just a few touches, and what is striking is their vivid and brilliant colors, even after so long.
The Chapel of Saint Fina
Inside the church , we also have an excellent example of Renaissance art by an architect, Giuliano da Maiano; a sculptor, Benedetto da Maiano, and a painter, Domenico Ghirlandaio. We are talking about the Chapel of Saint Fina, which was dedicated to the most beloved saint in the city. Her story tells that, after discovering a serious illness, Fina decided to spend the rest of her days at a table and, at the moment of her death, the table “sprouted” yellow violets.
3) One-day itinerary in San Gimignano, Tuscany: VISIT THE PALAZZO DEL POPOLO
Leaving the Cathedral, proceed to the Palazzo del Popolo (“Palace of the People”), which together with the Cathedral, the Loggia del Comune and its various towers, form the beautiful architectural complex of Piazza del Duomo as a whole. Currently, the Palace houses the Civic Museum of San Gimignano, where we can see the beautiful cistern of the year 1361 right at the entrance. There, you can also admire the frescoes of Sodom and also find the Art Gallery: must-see attractions!
The Palace is one of the most fascinating buildings in the city and houses the Sala del Consiglio (“Council Room”), also called the Sala di Dante (“Dante’s Room”) in honor of his visit in 1299. This room features several impressive frescoes. From this palace, you can reach the Grossa Tower, the highest in the city, and observe a breathtaking panorama of San Gimignano. On clearer days, in the distance, you can see the Apuan and Pistoian Alps – in the far north, and Mount Amiata, which is on the border with Lazio, to the south.
4) One-day itinerary in San Gimignano, in Tuscany: VISIT THE MONTESTAFFOLI FORTRESS
From the Palace, head to the Montestaffoli Fortress.This is the place with the most beautiful view in the whole city. From the top, you have a 360 ° view of all the towers of the city and the Elsa Valley: it is breathtaking and leaves any Hollywood scene “green with envy”! To get there from Piazza del Duomo, cross Piazza delle Erbe (“Herbs’ Square”) – rest assured, as the city is very well signposted. This fortress, in the early Middle Ages, was owned by the Bishop of Volterra and had been built at Poggio di Montestaffoli. After the city was subjected to Florence, it ‘changed its function’ and became a fortress that served to protect the city from Siena’s attacks. Nowadays, there is little of the fortification and only one tower can be visited, but it is the tower that presents us with the incredible view that I mentioned earlier.
During the summer, this is where the city comes to life
It is a popular place for events, shows, parties and cultural events. If you are passing by in the summer, remember that in recent years it has also become the most popular place for parties, concerts and cultural events. Ah, here too, in the museum that is divided by floors, you can live an immersive experience in the history of the city. Each area addresses a theme, so you will find a room with the centenary history of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, another room with the story of its poets, a room that tells us more about the territory, about agriculture, the harvest and the winemaking process , all told through images, videos, holograms, films and documents. It is awesome! Really! It is very worth visiting!
5) One-day itinerary in San Gimignano, in Tuscany: VISIT THE WINE MUSEUM
To conclude our tour, let’s go to the Wine Museum! That’s right! San Gimignano has a FANTASTIC wine museum called Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Experience – The Wine Museum . Created by the consortium of Vernaccia di San Gimignano, it is a place designed and built in the ideal way to discover and taste this unique wine, making it an unforgettable experience.
A little more about the museum …
The museum is located in the Montestaffoli Fortress and is managed by local producers who use the latest technology to offer an immersive and full of details experience. Here, you can do tastings and there are 16 labels available. However, they change constantly, so that the wines of all regional producers are always present; the area has the production of more than 200 wines and, in addition to Vernaccia, you can also enjoy, for example, a Tuscan IGT- San Gimignano DOC Red, Rosé and Vinsanto- Chianti DOCG: all majestic!
The tastings are always accompanied by sommeliers who tell the story of the wine , inform about the best wine-pairings, bring the visitor closer to the territory and present us with a true demonstration of knowledge, culture and flavor, enchanting – even – the most experienced tasters.
Here is the map, on foot, of our route – as you can see, everything is very close and you will not have any major problems to get to know the city on foot:
Tip for those going by car
A very precious tip for those who drive to San Gimignano: first, don’t drink! If you go by car, I suggest you use public transport or hire a private driver; if you drive and don’t drink, leave the car in the P1-Giubileo parking lot. You will pay 1.50 euros an hour (or 6 euros a day). In high season, you can leave the car there and use the transfer that leaves and arrives from the parking lot, OK ?! Read also TRAVELING BY CAR IN ITALY: EXAMPLES OF TOURS
If you are renting a car, be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
How to get to San Gimignano by public transportation?
Is not difficult ! It is worth remembering that the train does not reach here, so I suggest that you get off at Poggibonsi, and from there use bus 130 from the company Tiemme. From Siena, you take bus 130 / A – but pay attention and ask if you will need to change buses in Poggibonsi. For timetables and more information, CLICK HERE! Find out here How to get to San Gimignano from Florence and find out where to sleep in San Gimignano?
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One-day itinerary in San Gimignano, Tuscany. Visiting San Gimignino in one day is not ideal. After all, the city offers us an atmosphere that really needs to be lived, but with our brief itinerary presented in this post, you can get an idea of the beauty, magic and poetry that this city has to offer us! It is an unforgettable city and will leave its mark on your soul and heart forever.
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