San Gimignano

Medieval Manhattan: San Gimignano

Medieval Manhattan: San Gimignano © LianeM /

Medieval Manhattan

The legendary town southwest of Florence is known as the Medieval Manhattan thanks to its spectacular skyline. The numerous towers were built by the feuding Guelfs and Ghibellines, who were attempting to outdo each other in demonstrations of power. Of the 72 towers originally constructed by the wealthy families, 15 remain standing. San Gimignano's skyline has hardly changed since the 14th century, when its importance dwindled due to a combination of plague and the shift of trading routes to the valleys. Today the town of 7,000 is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Volterra is just a short distance away. The Etruscan settlement in beautiful surroundings is considered one of the most picturesque towns in Tuscany. A short panoramic trail leads to the best vantage points – unfortunately via mostly unpaved, dusty roads. (2:40 hours, 9.4 kilometers, up and down: 210 m)

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Attractions San Gimignano

Around San Gimignano

View of the picture book silhouette

The circular walk is particularly recommended for the view of San Gimignano and its surroundings. Less appealing is the fact that it travels across wide, unpaved slopes, which are little used, but sometimes dusty. (there and back: 9 kilometers, 2:30 hours, up and down: 210 meters)

Santa Lucia and Montauto

Tthrough a Tuscan idyll to the San Gimignano view

The hike from Santa Lucia to Montauto is one of the most beautiful in southern Tuscany. Starting point is the pleasantly quiet Piazza of Santa Lucia. From there it goes through a typical Tuscan cultural landscape with vineyards, olive groves and cypresses to Molino di Foci, where you can stop in a German-speaking garden restaurant. The highlight awaits you in Montauto: a great view of the towers of San Gimignano. (round trip: 11.6 kilometers, 3:30 hours, up and down: 370 meters)

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