san gimignano

Why you should visit San Gimignano

san gimignanoIf you have been to Tuscany but not yet visited San Gimignano – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the ‘town of towers’ {it used to boast 72!}. I suggest hopping in a car, bus, on a horse, vespa, or even advocate hitchhiking {kidding} to check out the incredible skyline this town has to offer! Not into history or stunning natural beauty? Than come visit for the dry white Vernaccia wine local to the area —  that’s half the reason I keep coming back. I had the chance to revisit this past week with friends for our beloved holiday of ‘Pasquetta‘ {little Easter} on Monday and had a great time being a ‘tourist’ yet again.

Like many walled medieval towns in Tuscany, San Gimignano was once used fortress in the hands of different empires and powerful noble families throughout it’s long existence. It shouldn’t surprise you  that it’s roots date back to Etruscan times (3rd century BC) –  pilgrims used to stop here for a pausa (rest) on their way to Rome and the Vatican city, it  happens to lie along the route of the famous pilgrim route of via francigena.

The views from the top of the wall (which yes you can climb) are absolutely incredible. The Tuscany you always dreamed of? You will find that here folks! In fact, it doesn’t matter how many years I am in Italy, I will continue to be wowed by such natural beauty, take it all in and then some. 

sang

If you’re lucky you might even catch a really really creepy puppet show in the middle of gorgeous Piazza della Cisterna  (home to the uber-famous  award-winning geleteria!). I must admit, I was slightly traumatized after seeing this (and of course I caught in on camera – I apologize in advance for the F Bomb…) ;-).

There is also a Museum of Vernaccia wine which I didn’t visit but I am pretty sure this guy did, he was just around the corner singing his heart out.

Once you have climbed the outer walls and perhaps given the torture museums a try, I highly recommend stopping for an aperitivo wine & Tuscan sampler break. We stopped at a small enoteca towards the back of the town where they put us downstairs in a dungeon-like (more torture references?) atmosphere but then served us great wine and this yummy tagliere (cutting board) for a really good price. Not much makes me happier in life than good company, a great glass of wine and Tuscan cured- meats & cheeses.

Truth be told, yes there are a ton of tourists at any given time, and I have often wondered just how many torture museums one small town can have. But just enjoy San Gimignano for what it is, a really great little day trip from Siena or Florence very much worth the journey!

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