San Gimignano and its towers: the Tuscan village where time has stoppedApril 19, 2013
San Gimignano is one of Tuscany's most picturesque and fascinating medieval towns. As demonstrated by several paintings of that time, the village has remained almost unchanged since the end of '300, a feature that has helped make it one of the most visited places in Tuscany, not only by foreign tourists, but by the Tuscans themselves, who gladly spend there festive days and trips.
The beauty of the architecture and the charm of the atmosphere of San Gimignano, in addition to the extraordinary landscapes of the surrounding countryside and the wine produced in the area, were recognized in 1990 by UNESCO, which has decided to include it in its list of World Heritage Sites. The city is an example of how the Italian territory can be a source of wealth, if properly protected and enhanced.
San Gimignano had the time of its heyday in the Middle Ages, when the village was one of the "stages" along the Via Francigena, the road that led pilgrims from North West Europe to Rome.
Its strategic position has allowed the flourishing of businesses. As demonstration of this prosperity, the city began to be enriched with towers built by the families of merchants to "exhibit" their wealth. The towers (which in 1300 were even 70) have become the most famous feature of the city and, even today, 16 of them still remain intact.
As proof of the beauty of the village of San Gimignano over the centuries, there is the Museum of "San Gimignano 1300", formed in reaction to the project to reconstruct a faithful model of the medieval city, which faithfully traces its history, including guides in period costume and highly detailed scale models.
The town of San Gimignano is literally people-friendly and worth a visit if you find yourself to stay in Tuscany. For a holiday in this region, WeVillas offers very interesting proposals: http://www.wevillas.com/tuscany.html