The walled medieval town of San Gimignano sits atop a hill in the Province of Siena, Tuscany. An architecture-lovers delight, the town has a great number of well-preserved medieval buildings, including castles, cathedrals and the fourteen towers which the town is most famous for. With a warm climate, laid-back atmosphere and great food and wine, San Gimignano is the choice of many holidaymakers that flock to Tuscany every year.
San Gimignano is most famous for its medieval architecture, and in particular its fourteen towers, which can be spotted from many kilometres away. The towers vary in height and are much better preserved than those in most other Italian cities, though there were originally an amazing 72 in total. Some of the towers now hold museums, such as the Town Hall, which contains a picture and painting gallery.
The centre of the town contains four squares (Piazza’s), which is where the main amenities lie. Enjoying a meal and watching the world go by, or relaxing with a glass of wine and admiring the architecture is many visitors’ idea of the perfect holiday. This corner of Italy is known as a wine-lovers destination, and San Gimignano grows its own grape, known as Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
There are also a number of churches to visit within this small town, including the Sant’Agostino, which houses a collection of renaissance art, and the Collegiata, a former cathedral. Other various points of interest include the Ornithological Museum, the Archaeological Museum and the many medieval fountains that are dotted around the town. Needless to say, make sure you take plenty of batteries for your camera!
Many of Tuscany’s other attractions are within easy reach of the city, and holiday rental accommodation in San Gimignano is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding area. This includes a number of other medieval towns such as neighbouring Poggibonsi (12km) as well as the vineyards, hills and lakes that make the Tuscany region so famous.
Warm, dry summer daytimes and balmy evenings are what characterise the Tuscan climate, and average temperatures of around 25C can be expected if you visit San Gimignano between May and September. Temperatures remain mild outside of these months, and rain is highly unlikely to ruin your stay as it is almost non-existent in this region.
Florence Peretola Airport (FLR) is usually the cheapest and best option for holiday’s in this area of Tuscany, being just 39km from San Gimignano. Galileo Galilei Airport in Pisa (PSA) is an alternative, but adds an additional 20km on to the journey distance upon landing. Hire a car to make the most of your stay.
Make holiday rental accommodation or an apartment in San Gimignano, Italy your home away from home
The medieval town of San Gimignano, Italy, is surrounded by a wall and perched on top of a hill in the beautiful Tuscan countryside. The narrow, cobblestone lanes and unique towers that have made the charming town famous, attract tourists from around the world. During the summer this small, idyllic town is a hive of activity as dozens of tourist come to the heart of Tuscany to soak in the enchanting atmosphere.
There is plenty to see within the town itself, from exploring the old buildings and art galleries to guided tours of wineries and cellars to taste the famous local white wine, Vernaccia.
The historical town center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of fourteen medieval towers that dominate the skyline. Built as symbols of wealth and power, the towers provide a stunning view of the Elsa Valley with its beautiful vineyards. Torre Grossa is the tallest of the fourteen towers, but the climb is well worth the splendid view and a must-see for anybody renting accommodation in San Gimignano.
Piazza del Duomo is one of the four squares in the walled town, and is the place where you will find the Collegiata cathedral, which although not impressive from outside, contains some very impressive fresco paintings on the inside.
The Piazza della Cisterna is a triangular piazza that gets its name from the large cistern that sits in the center. It is surrounded by quaint cafés and shops and is a great place to taste the delicious food and wine from the region during your San Gimignano holiday. Every Thursday is market day in the piazza. You can buy souvenirs from your San Gimignano holiday such as hand painted ceramics and handmade soaps.
In the southwestern part of the town, on the highest part of the hill, is a ruined fortress called Rocca. Surrounded by the greenery of olive groves it is the ideal place to relax and admire the beautiful Tuscan panorama. The view from the Rocca is breathtaking.
If you are feeling macabre you can visit the Museum of Torture, which is home to more than 100 torture machines that date back to the 16th Century.
If you rent an apartment in San Gimignano during June you may be lucky enough to see the Medieval Harvest Feast that includes parades, medieval games and entertainment.
If you are renting accommodation in San Gimignano you may want to take a day trip to explore the old city of Siena, which is 35km away. You can also easily make a day trip to Florence, which is only 55km away.
San Gimignano has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. The most pleasant time of year to visit is during spring or autumn when the weather is pleasantly warm.
If you are renting an apartment in San Gimignano you can fly to Pisa (PSA), Rome (ROM) or Florence (FLR) and go by bus via Poggibonsi to your San Gimignano apartment. Ryanair, easyJet, Thomson Flights and Alitalia are just some of the airlines that provide cheap flights to these Italian airports.