I have always wanted to see the rolling hills of the Italian countrysides. San Gimignano in Tuscany took this off my bucket list. The small medieval walled town is a perfect example of an Italian hill town. It is surrounded by grapes, olives and cypress trees. Located in the province of Siena, it is said to be the glamour girl of the Tuscany Region. Its known medieval architecture is visually striking and well preserved. It has retained its feudal atmosphere and appearance.
San Gimignano is also known as the Town with Fine Towers. Although only 14 of the 72 of its medieval towers still stand, its skyline is still a unique sight. These towers were built in the Middle Ages both as a protection against attackers and to boost noble egos.
Despite being full of day time tourists, strolling through San Gimignano amidst the towers was a delight and relaxing. It seemed to be back in the olden days. There were always some things to discover.
The historic center of San Gimignano is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the center of the town is Piazza della Cisterna. It is called as such because of the cistern served by an old well found in the middle of the piazza or square. People love to gather and sit on the well. Since over a thousand years ago, every Thursday morning there is a market in the square.
My family and I had lunch at Ristorante Bel Soggiorno where former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Giorgio Armani once dined. The restaurant had a panoramic view of the Tuscan hills but unfortunately all the tables near the windows were occupied when we came in. At any rate , the food were not only presented well but also tasted good.
In Piazza della Cisterna there is a multi-awarded gelateria named Gelateria Dondoli. It was declared as World Gelato Champion four times. The long queue was worth it.
San Gimignano is famous for its red wine.
San Gimignano was only a day trip from Florence but it has become one of my favorite places in Italy.