SAN GIMIGNANO is a nice medieval city,
known as "the town of the beautiful towers", where many noble
families and rich merchants lived. at the beginning there was
an Etruscan village but the development started in Middle Age
thanks to the Via Francigena, an important road for pilgrims
San Gimignano became a city state
officially in 1199 and fought against Volterra and other
The decadence started in 1348 because of
the Plague and the alliance with Florence which became more
and more powerful. People became so poor and they couldn't
restaure any towers which ruined.
The city was forgotten for many centuries
and it was discovered at the end of 18th century by writers
and travellers. It was restaured and today is a nice and
suggestive example of a medieval city.
The city is so small but rich in monuments
and piazzas. Piazza della Cisterna, the Collegiate with a
nice chapel dedicated to Saint Fina (frescoed by Ghirlandaio)
and St. Augustine Church (free entrance), where benozzo
Gozzoli, the Florentine painter frescoed the epysodes taken
from the life of St. Augustine.
Along the streets, we discover many
handicrafts and unusual contemporary picture galleries.