Italy
San Gimignano

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155 travelers at this place

  • Day14

    Tuscany

    August 19, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    The weather is amazing as is the location. Truly spoilt in this beautiful place.

    In the morning we went and found a laundry and washed our ever growing bag of dirty clothes, bought some food and then headed off in the car for an adventure.

    We headed to Cecina which is on the coast going through amazing villages and fantastic scenery. Arrived at Cecina and it was not the quiet little town I remembered! Firstly we found an Italian Aldi store which was amazing. Found a couple of beach towels and bits and pieces, then headed down to the beach. Absolutely packed beaches with umbrellas as far as the eye can see.

    We then drove on down the coast to San Vincenzo where we were looking forward to a seafood pasta, but no luck we arrived too late and the kitchen was closed, so we shared a kebab instead!

    On we drove and that’s when the fun began! We only had offline Google maps that had trouble keeping track of where we were. We found a gorgeous village called Rocca Strada which had lots of housed built into the side of the rock with narrow windy streets. Best part was we were the only tourists there!

    On we drove heading for Siena, where we took so many wrong turns and one time ended up going under a bridge that we were supposed to be going over! No we didn’t kill each other but it was getting pretty tense and in the ended we skipped stopping in Siena and we both agreed never again without a online map!

    Drove on and muddled our way back to San Gimi where we stopped finally at a local Pizzeria as Pete was desperate for an Italian pizza and I had seafood risotto to make up for missing out during the day. We were happy to finally be at home and we will remember the adventure of getting lost in Tuscany for years to come! Pete finished the day with Limoncello!
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  • Day13

    Getting to San Gimignano

    August 18, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 22 °C

    So what a drama!! We had paid for a hire car to pick up in Florence from Hertz. After finally finding the office, we waited and waited to be served. Finally we were told to go across the road to pick up the car. Ha ha that was a joke. We wanted to change the driver to me and all of a sudden we were told they would not honour our reservation. So here we were in Florence with no way of getting to our next stop. So I said to Pete, no stress it’s part of the adventure 😂😂😂

    We ended up at Budget, with the same paperwork and within 10 minutes we were on our way with a car. Lesson - don’t hire with Hertz, absolutely no customer care and would not help!

    Anyway we got over that eventually and found our way back to the BnB and picked up our luggage and set off for San Gimi. My favourite place! The driving was pretty good, I just need help remembering my left and right. Pretty important when driving on the other side of the road!

    Our BnB is amazing and we spent some time exploring San Gimi till the heat got to me and also the drive i think. We went back to the BnB with our snacks and had a swim and a yummy dinner. So nice to be in the county side!
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  • Day13

    Rocca of Montestaffoli, San Gimignano

    December 4, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    After enjoying a refreshing glass of wine, or two and a delicious bruschetta while watching the world pass by in the Piazza della Cisterna, we made our way to Rocca of Montestaffoli, an old castle situated in Parco della Rocca, just on the edge of the old town. Originally a castle of Lombard Astolfo, and later a Dominican Convent, this fortress was built by the Florentines in 1353 when the town submitted to Florence to protest it from possible attacks by Siena or from internal riots that may have arisen inside the town itself.

    The fortress had a pentagonal base with a perimeter of approximately 280m, with turrets on each corner and passages that linked it to the city walls. It was protected by a front gate and a drawbridge. Today only one of the ancient turrets is still safe and we were able to climb it to take in the views of San Gimingnano from a different angle, and the surrounding countryside. It was a pleasant way to spend our afternoon, strolling around the park and enjoying the views.

    What did surprise me was the random piece of modern art set in what was once another turret. The mixture of modern art amongst the historic buildings is something I enjoy seeing as it seems so out of place but still works. This piece was a bit random and was called Yellow Girl. There are a lot of art galleries in San Gimignano with a lot of them featuring modern abstract art, and I have enjoyed admiring some of these pieces while trying to understand others. It is a town of great juxtaposition.
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  • Day12

    On to Italy

    August 17, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    A full on day of train travel today, with us sadly leaving Nice at 7:40am. Then onto Milan where we ended up have a burger at Burger King as we didn’t have enough time to leave the station for real food! The trains were amazing and we had business class which gave us free snacks and drinks! After a long day on trains we finally arrived in Florence at 5.00pm and had no internet, which meant no Google maps to find our way! Lesson learnt - download map when you have wifi so you can use it offline!, so thank goodness for MacDonalds where you get free wifi eve if you don’t eat there! We downloaded our map and headed off for a 20 minute walk to our BnB which turned out to be lovely once we found it!

    We freshened up and then headed out to explore Florence albeit it briefly and wandered along and found the Ponte De Vecchio in time for the sunset. Found a great place for dinner and the wine was wonderful. Great finish to a tiring day.
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  • Day54

    San Gimignano

    July 8, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    The village of San Gimignano is a must for any serious traveler in Tuscany. It's claim to fame is it's tall towers that can be seen for miles around and from which those living inside it's walls could monitor movements from afar. We stopped for a quick lunch there and an icecream on our way to the Cinque Terra. Here are some photos of our brief visit.Read more

  • Day16

    Onto Venice

    August 21, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    After a lovely breakfast on the terrace we headed off in the car back to Florence to drop off the hire car.it was an easy drive with Google maps until we realised our offline map had sent us to a bridge that was closed! Lucky we had internet so we quickly recalculated and managed to get the car back with incurring any traffic fines, we hope.

    Made it onto our train and had a relaxing couple of hours speeding towards Venice. When we arrived the clever accommodation booker (Pete) had found us a hotel that only had one bridge to climb to reach our hotel. Mind you we had four flights of narrow stairs to make it to our room, but the lovely staff carried our bags for us.

    After a quick refresh we headed out to explore Venice and marvel at the beautiful buildings and canals. We were going to do a go dale ride but 100 euros about $180 made us think twice. Still we found a lovely place to stop for refreshments, but had some pretty average food. We went back for our afternoon siesta which was much needed!

    We decided to stay close to the hotel for dinner and found a lovely little restaurant on a canal. Weather was a bit cooler with quite a bit of wind, but quite refreshing after the previous hot days. Sooooo many tourists it makes it hard to walk the streets during the day but easier at night so we did more wandering until we were well and truly exhausted. More exploring tomorrow.
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  • Day13

    Day 13b. San Gimignano.

    August 17, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    San Gimignano’s history of first relevant settlements date back to the archaic Etruscan period and the foundation of dates back to ancient times. According to legend, in 63 B.C. two brothers, Muzio and Silvio, two young patricians escaping from Rome after their implication in the conspiracy of Catiline, sheltered in Valdelsa and built two castles: the Castle of Mucchio and the Castle of Silvia, which would develop in the future into San Gimignano.
    San Gimignano rises on top of a hill 334m above sea level, clearly visible in the distance with its many towers. Today 13 towers remain of the 72 towers of the fourteenth century, when every well off family built a tower to show its economical power (many of them are still visible in the buildings, even if they were cut off).
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  • Day176

    Das Manhattan des Mittelalters

    March 5, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌬 15 °C

    Der heutige Tagesausflug führte uns nach San Gimignano, welches wegen seiner vielen Türme auch Manhattan des Mittelalters genannt wird.

    Schon beim kurzen Spaziergang vom Parkplatz in den Ortskern offenbarte sich uns ein toller Ausblick auf die "Skyline". Von den früher ca. 70 Türmen sind allerdings nur noch 13 vorhanden.

    Unser weiterer Spaziergang für uns einmal quer durch das super süße Örtchen über den Zisternenplatz und den Domplatz bis an das nördliche Ende und die katholische Kirche.

    Natürlich durften wir uns auch eine Kugel Eis vom Eisweltmeister Mitte der 2000er nicht entgehen lassen. Aber nicht ohne den Magen erstmal mit ein paar Stücken Pizza auf dem Boden in der Sonne zu weiten. Ja es dreht sich so einiges ums Essen.

    Wieder zurück in unserer Ferienwohnung ging es auch schon weiter mit dem Essen. Denn die Sonne lud mal wieder zum Kaffeetrinken ein.

    Den restlichen Abend verbrachten wir mit Karten spielen und quatschen.
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  • Day10

    Day 10 - Sun, Apr 28 - Tuscany Towns

    April 28, 2019 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    On the dot of 9:00 a.m., we headed off to visit three lovely Tuscan towns - San Gimignano, Volterra and Pisa. We wound our way up and down roads through the green, green countryside. Before we actually got to San Gimignano, Simone took us down a narrow country lane so that we could get a view of the the town from outside the walls. San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of 14 of its tower houses (incredible considering wars, catastrophes, and urban renewal trends), which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls, form "an unforgettable skyline”. Unforgettable sums it up perfectly. The "Historic Centre of San Gimignano" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Piazza della Cisterna is the main square of the town. It is triangular in shape and is surrounded by medieval houses of different dates, among them some fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic palazzos. At the centre of the piazza stands a well which was the main source of water for the town's residents. The structure dates from 1346.

    The town is full of small shops selling a wide variety of goods - souvenirs, fine wines, clothing, shoes and fabulous leather goods. We walked all over the town, enjoying the beautiful view and sampling more gelato - a triple cone of salted caramel, chocolate and creme brulée. We are going to have to keep walking to reduce the damage from that kind of decadence!

    Promptly on time, we rendezvoused with Simone - parking is a premium in these small towns - so he does a “scoop-and-run” maneuver - he stops for just a minute; we pile in; he pulls away - we have it down to a science now. We wound our way through more of the beautiful Tuscan countryside to the town of Volterra. It too is walled mountaintop town. Its history dates from before the 8th century BC and it has substantial structures from the Etruscan, Roman, and Medieval periods. The huge attraction here, besides the gorgeous views, is alabaster. It is a calcareous substance mined in the surrounding area that has been widely used for millennia since the Etruscan craftsmen carved it to obtain urns to keep the ashes of their dead. The large natural deposits of alabaster in its surroundings are considered one of the most precious around the world given its particular compactness, transparency, veins and hardness.

    The shops are full of many of the same kinds of goods as in San Gimignano, but with the addition of beautiful alabaster goods - jewelry, vases, tiny animals, chessboards and on and on. It’s mesmerizing to look at it all - such fabulous artisanship.

    Another scoop-and-run at the bus station. Next destination - Pisa, famous for its tower. The Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply the Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral, known worldwide for its nearly four-degree lean, the result of an unstable foundation. The tower is situated behind the Pisa Cathedral and is the third oldest structure in the city's Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo), after the cathedral and the Pisa Baptistry. The tower's tilt began during construction in the 12th century, due to soft ground on one side, which was unable to properly support the structure's weight. The tilt increased in the decades before the structure was completed in the 14th century. It gradually increased until the structure was stabilized (and the tilt partially corrected) by efforts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

    Standing in a large green expanse, Piazza del Duomo houses a group of monuments known the world over. These four masterpieces of medieval architecture – the cathedral, the baptistry, the campanile (the 'Leaning Tower') and the cemetery – had a great influence on monumental art in Italy from the 11th to the 14th century. The Piazza del Duomo is another UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Some members of our intrepid group wanted to climb that almost 300 steps to the top of the tower, but the next available bookings were almost two hours later, well past our designated pick up time.

    Thankfully, the rain that had threatened at all three stops failed to find us, making for another excellent tourist day. Rain finally did appear on the drive to our last stop of the day - a farm and winery where we had yet another 4-course dinner with wonderfully fresh authentic Tuscan ingredients and wines made right there on the farm. It was a very quiet ride back to Florence - we were all tired and very full!

    Our destination for tomorrow is Venice, the City of Canals.
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  • Day4

    Die Stadt der Türme

    April 23, 2019 in Italy ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

    Trotz leichtem Regen erlagen wir der Schönheit der mittelalterlichen Kleinstadt, San Gimignano.

    Hügel für Hügel erklommen wir die Stadt und machten uns auf diese von allen Seiten zu erkundigen. Die kleinen Gassen luden zum Verweilen ein und auch der Regen ließ bald nach...Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

San Gimignano, סן ג'ימיניאנו, サン・ジミニャーノ

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