San Gimignano

Medieval Manhattan: San Gimignano

Medieval Manhattan: San Gimignano

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. (2:40 hrs, 9.4 km, elevation gain: 210 m)

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