One of the jewels of Tuscany is the town of San Gimignano, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and distinctive for its series of medieval towers which dominate the horizon. As these incredible towers are over 800 years old, work is continuously carried out on the remaining 14 towers in order to protect and preserve them for several years to come, with work carried out on the twelfth-century Campatelli tower and house to be completed shortly.
Almost five years of work have been carried out on the medieval building, with the two million-euro restoration including extensive structural work and improvements to the chapel. The project is now in its final stages, with the finishing touches of eighteenth and nineteenth century-style furnishings being added to the building.
Campatelli tower is just one of 14 towers still remaining in San Gimignano – at the height of its glory, the town boasted around 72 as a symbol of the patrician families’ wealth and power. The oldest, Torre Rognosa, acts as the town clock tower and rises up from the town hall, the Palazzo del Podesta, and measures 51 metres high. The town’s leading family decreed that no towers should be built taller than the Torre Rognosa, however, this was ignored, with the tallest surviving tower being the Torre Grossa, measuring 54 metres high.
Situated halfway between Florence and Siena, San Gimignano is surrounded by a sweeping valley in the heart of the Tuscan hills, making the views of the skyscraping towers and the surrounding walls a real sight to behold as the view of the town dominates the horizon. Not only does it offer visitors the chance to step back in time to medieval Tuscany, but is also a great place to enjoy some local Tuscan products such as saffron and its own variety of white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Surrounded by glorious countryside and rolling vineyards, San Gimignano is a perfect way to spend a day for those planning a stay in our hotels in Tuscany, each individually handpicked for their quality, service and location.
Image: Mihael Grmek, available under Creative Commons