San Gimignano is a medieval town whose charm and beauty are emblematic of the Italian landscape. Often called the city with towers, San Gimignano is located in the southern Tuscan region. The historic town lies at the northwest of the city Sienna. From Florence, it is located in the southwest direction. The easiest way to go is by taking a train or bus from those two cities. The road from Florence will take nearly two hours.
The town itself is built on a hill and is surrounded by fortification walls. Nearby lies the fertile valley of Val d'Elza where vineyards alternate with olive plantations and maize plantations.
Because of its numerous towers San Gimignano in recent years is known by the name of the medieval Manhattan. Once the towers that stood here were 72 in number and were a symbol of wealth and affluence of medieval families who lived here.
Today, however, only 14 of the towers survive. Although much reduced, they are attractive for thousands of tourists from around the world. San Gimignano becomes a tourist destination as early as the 70s of last century and since then interest in the Italian town grows. In recent years tourists here account for a record 3 million and the locals joke that their city still has the medieval theme, not Disneyland.
The historical center of San Gimignano was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO. Surrounded by walls, it is not possible to enter it in a vehicle. Its area is not large and can easily be toured on foot.
Among the tourist attractions here is the Palazzo del Popolo, which has a wonderfully beautiful garden and its walls are decorated with impressive frescoes. One floor is a museum where you can see the frescoes in the Memo di Filipucho depicting wedding scenes.
Quite interesting is the church "Sant Agostino" which dates from the 13th century. Polayolo paintings can be seen behind the altar, and a number of frescoes depicting the life of the saint too. All are the work of Benozzo Gozzoli.
You can not miss is the hill climb of Torre Grosso, where you can admire the beautiful view open to the surrounding lands. From there you can see the old dilapidated fort Rokka. Be sure to organize a tour of the museum of wine, as well as the Archaeological Museum in San Gimignano.