This small town, surrounded by the pastoral countryside Tuscany is so famous for, has become popular over the years and many tourists flock here from all over the world. Its fame, boosted by movies and Instagram, is totally deserved and a day trip to San Gimignano shows you exactly why.
Below, you can read all my favorite things to do and see in this beautiful town, a stone’s throw from Siena and Florence.
Take a stroll
Sometimes we become avid, we want to check as many things as we can off our list and forget to just take a moment and be present. There’s a delight in enjoying the simple things instead, like a leisurely stroll where you take in your surroundings. Here in San Gimignano there’s so much to see and discover, boredom won’t even be an option! The town is small and totally walkable (albeit uphill at times, so be prepared), take your time to explore, at your pace.
Enjoy La Dolce Vita
Piazza Cisterna, the main square in San Gimignano is so stunningly beautiful that you should absolutely factor in some time for people watching, gelato eating and simply relax at a cafe. You’re in a hurry everyday, Italy gives you permission to stop and revel in the simple pleasures: time, food, sun.
Learn the history
San Gimignano is often referred to as the Medieval Manhattan because of its many towers, a formidable sight with an even more colourful history, but they’re not the only thing worth seeing. The Collegiate Church and its museum, along with the museum of torture and Rocca di Staffoli, a beautiful park, will shed light on this town’s heritage. And it’s anything but stuffy! You can also walk on the town walls, medieval ramparts of rare beauty, truly a unique experience.
Dine & wine
Local delicacies abound here. Saffron, for example, is San Gimignano’s true gold, so you should definitely try it whilst here. The Vernaccia wine grape, local to the area, produces amazing wines to accompany delectable meals with hearty pasta dishes, cold cuts and pecorino cheese. Michelangelo wrote about Vernaccia in 1643: “It kisses, leaks, bites, pricks, and stings”. You can learn more about it at the local wine museum. And in San Gimignano you can find the world’s best gelato too!
There are a couple of spots either in town or just outside, that are perfect for taking panoramic pics, like Via Vecchia per Poggibonsi, a road with the perfect vantage point for taking photos. It goes without saying that on top of a tower, you also get a bird’s eye view of the town and the surrounding countryside.
One last, extra tip: the ornithological museum, with over 371 specimens collected by a marquess between 1866 and 1911. Great if you want to escape or the heat, or if you have kids who love all things nature!
Contact us directly to book a day trip to San Gimignano and to arrange more experiences during your Italian vacation as well.
PH Leopoldo Morandi