San Gimignano delle belle Torri –
Beautiful towers of San Gimignano.
This small medieval town 60 kilometers south of Florence is one of the most famous destinations in Tuscany, Italy. The families who used to control this town built around 72 tower houses as a symbol of their power and wealth. ‘Only’ 14 towers survived. San Gimignano is known as the City of the Towers and a very popular day trip.
Situated on a hill, the view of the typical Tuscan landscape is stunning.
Maybe this house is the secret hideaway of the famous Florentine alchemist on running shoes, Mr. Alessandro Dari?
We people have a thing with towers. We look up to them as they are always impressive. When we want to take their picture they have us lay down on the ground, almost like an act of humbleness.
Building all the 72 towers, the families of San Gimignano entered into a kind of informal contest of building the highest one. If you could have your own tower, wouldn’t you make it as high as possible? At least higher than your neighbor just to show off?
The historic centre of San Gimignano (which is a UNESCO world heritage) is not that big. You will find many restaurants and shops, but the best thing is to just sit down at the square and watch people (and tower houses of course!).
How to get there?
We used local transport to get from Florence to San Gimignano: the bus. There are two important things you need to know: (1) Localize the SITA bus station in Florence and (2) make sure to distinguish the fast and the slow bus.
The SITA bus station is close to the Central Train Station in Florence, but still hard to find if you don’t know where to look. I could say it’s just around the corner, but there are many corners. Just ask people on the street, it’s part of the travel fun I guess!
The fast bus is the one to Sienna. This one will use the highway. We (accidentally) took the slow bus (via Poggibonsi). It took us around 1.5 hours but we passed beautiful little villages and enjoyed the Tuscan landscape. If you have the time, take the slow bus!