San Gimignano or, as the locals like to call it "The Medieval Manhattan", is worldwide famous for its towers and breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside.
The wealthy families of San Gimignano built 72 towers back in the Middle Ages, of which 13 still remain today in their original state. Around 1199, San Gimignano broke free from Volterra becoming an independent city state with prosperous trades like silk, wool, mulberry and especially saffron, which was used to dye cloth. You will find many places where to get refined local saffron in San Gimignano!
In our walk, you will discover Piazza della Cisterna, the ancient market square and the heart of all commercial activities in San Gimignano. The name comes from the octagonal well built in 1273 for public use. The towers on the square still maintain their original height, including the tow most important towers of the Salvucci and the Ardinghelli.
After the government square, you will see the Piazza del Duomo, with its cathedral dating back to 1100. Here, you will also see the Palazzo del Podesta, the Palazzo del Popolo and the Torre Grossa (literally, the Big Tower). Our tour will focus on the history, art but also the tarditions and the religious culture of San Gimignano such as Santa Fina, the local saint celebrated on March 12.
While you are walking across the squares and in the little alleys of this enchanting medieval village, stop for a gelato at Dondoli's, who won the Gelato World Championship in 2006!
Siena is a delightful little shrine of art, one of the best preserved and unspoilt towns in Italy.
It fits like a pearl on the rose "shell" of the Campo Square.
We will enjoy a stroll in the endless labyrinth of winding narrow streets, soak up the evocative medieval atmosphere and marvel at the beautiful fan-shaped square "il Campo", lined with ancient palaces, cafès and shops.
The city is rather small and its highlights can be seen in a 3 to 5 hour tour. The tour includes: the church of S. Domenico with its beautiful frescoes and St. Catherine’s holy relic; then we go through the heart of the city, to see Piazza del Campo with its stunning XIV Cent. City Hall (Palazzo Pubblico). Siena's unique square, with nine lines of stone radiating from the Palazzo Pubblico, which was paved in 1300, is the core of the city as the Republic of Siena conceived it: the Palazzo Pubblico, the Campo, and the soaring Torre del Mangia, a celebration of civic pride 102 meters tall!
We would then wind through ancient alleys to the Cathedral: a milestone of European art with masterpieces by Michelangelo, Pinturicchio, Donatello, Bernini and the largest existingbmedieval painting: the glorious "Maestà" by Duccio di Boninsegna. Siena's Cathedral, with its distinctive stripes and a splendid façade designed by the sculptor Giovanni Pisano, was begun around 1220 and completed by 1280. It is still one of the city's major landmarks.
During our wandering we will also stop by the medieval palaces of the Sienese aristocracy and sample the delights of Ricciarelli or Panforte, mouthwatering almond paste cookies typical of Siena.
Siena is also the best preserved Gothic medieval city in Italy, cradle of the Italian Gothic style and your local guide will be happy to share with you her passion for and attachment to the city she loves.
From € 450
All monuments and churches are optional. Please contact us for more information.
Admissions are not included in the tour price