Attractions in San Gimignano
San Gimignano is not a big city, so you can easily get on with all the city’s attractions on foot. In practice, the main attraction is to stroll around the Centro Storico, the historic center of San Gimignano, and look at the magnificent houses and towers.
- See DigoPaul for dictionary definitions of San Gimignano, Italy. Includes geographical map and city sightseeing photos.
Also, let the walk lead to a visit outside the city wall, ie the wall that surrounds the historic center. The wall is originally from the 13th century. Several beautiful portals have been built into the city, some of which come from the famous Medici family in Florence who controlled San Gimignano about 200 years from the 15th century.
One of the oldest portals is the Porta San Matteo from the 1100s. You will find Porta San Matteo in the north of the historic center when, at the junction of Via Cellolese and Via San Matteo.
Santa Maria Assunta
The 11th century church of Santa Maria Assunta must only be visited. The murals in the church will surely give you a sacred feeling that lasts for a long time. You will also find beautiful wooden statues, relics and much more to admire in this church.
Architecturally, Santa Maria Assunta is a typical example of a Romanesque style. Originally the church was smaller, but an expansion in 1457 gave Santa Maria Assunta the size it has today.
Santa Maria Assunta is located at Piazza del Duomo. The address is a mystery in itself, since Santa Maria Assunta is not a cathedral (Duomo).
Torre Grosso and Palazzo del Popolo
San Gimignano’s tallest tower is Torre Grosso, (The thick tower). Torre Grosso stretches 54 meters up in the weather, and it was immediately decided in San Gimignano that no tower should be built higher than that. From the top of the tower you get great views of the city.
The Palazzo del Popolo (palace of the people) was begun in the year 1288 and expanded in 1323. Amazingly, the Palazzo del Popolo has been San Gimignano’s gathering place for the city council since its origins.
Here you will also find the Museo Civico with the famous Sala di Dante (Dante’s room). The very famous poet Dante visited San Gimignano in the year 1300 and the room is dedicated to him. Here you will see a great collection of medieval frescoes.
Both Torre Grosso and Palazzo del Popolo are right next to Santa Maria Assunta at the Piazza Duomo.
The church of Sant’Agostino was built in the period 1280 to 1298 in a Gothic style and is located north of the old town, near Porta San Matteo. This is a church that does not look like the whole world on the outside, but which manifests itself in all its splendor when you get inside. The interior is fantastic.
Sant ‘Agostino also preserves the legends of San Bartolo, ie the priest Bartoloa da San Gimignano (1228 – 1300). He was blessed by Pope Pius X in 1910.
San Gimignano 1300
San Gimignano 1300 is a combination of museum and art exhibition. The most important item is most likely the 27 square meter model of San Gimignano in 1300. The model gives a very realistic picture of what San Gimignano looked like in the year 1300, including the colors of the buildings. It took more than two years to complete the model. And everything was made by hand.
You can find San Gimignano 1300 at Via Berignano 23.
Museum of torture
The Museo della Pena di Morte (Torture Museum) is a reasonably special museum. On the other hand, it may be okay to get a reminder from time to time how cruel people can be to each other.
The Museo della Pena di Morte is located on Via San Giovanni 82 and is best suited for adults and the slightly older children. Much of the exhibition is graphic, ie drawings, explanations etc.
Tourist in San Gimignano
The sights of San Gimignano are many, including the Piazza del Duomo, La Rocca, Piazza della Cisterna (the square is shaped like a triangle with a cistern from 1237 in its center) and not least the Via San Matteo street that oozes charm and atmosphere.
In Via San Matteo veneer you picturesque houses, shops and religious buildings. There are also several museums that deserve a visit once you have taken the time to visit San Gimignano. We propose the Etruscan Museum (the Etruscans were the dominant in Tuscany for many years, but the fate of this people is unknown), the Museum of Secret and Forbidden Art (found at Piazza Pecori) and the Ornithological Museum, (by the street Via Quercecchio).
San Gimignano is not the city for partying or shopping. In any case, not shopping for fashion clothes and similar products. Most stores fall into the “tourist traps” category, selling souvenirs and similar items. However, some stores offer good craftsmanship and jewelry.
Top quality food and wine can of course also be purchased in several stores. The typical Italian and Tuscan cuisine is represented through a useful selection of pizzerias and restaurants, most of which serve good quality food. Again, the rule is that you should try to find where the locals eat. The food here is always the best and often the cheapest. This rule should at least apply if you want something other than a regular pizza.
Festivals in San Gimignano
There are often larger or smaller festivals and performances in San Gimignano. In mid-June, there is a festival in honor of the city’s weekend, and this festival lasts for several days.
For accommodation there are hotels in the city. We can recommend Hotel L’Antico Pozzo, which is located in the city center and dates back to the 15th century. The address is Via San Matteo 87. You can also rent rooms privately in several places in the city.