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Colle di Val d'Elsa, Tuscany, Italy

Colle di Val d'Elsa is a town situated 15 km southeast of San Gimignano. Its old part, the so-called the Upper Town (because it is situated on a hill), is particularly interesting in terms of history and architecture. You can get to the "New Town" from there by elevator or by walking the Via Pozzo Tondo. From the highest point of the old town you can see a beautiful panorama of the Tuscan hills with vineyards. The old town itself is something of a medieval village with buildings from different eras and ages. It is very quiet and peaceful - if you visit it you won't regret it. By the way, the whole area is the Italian center of the crystal industry - if you like crystals and would like to buy something, you've come to the right place!

Parking in Colle di Val d'Elsa

We leave the car in the Porta Vecchia parking lot, located, as the name suggests, near the Porta Vecchia gate (P1; GPS: 43.4227519, 11.1134318). An alternative is to park the car in the Bacìo parking lot (P2; GPS: 43.4218060, 11.1162180). From this parking lot, just follow the Viale della Rimembranza and you will soon be in the middle of the old town.

Strolling the old town

Even though we parked in the Porta Vecchia parking lot, we headed towards the magnificent Porta Nuova gate (A; GPS: 43.4214735, 11.1120119), which is very close to the Porta Vecchia but is much nicer. It is a really beautiful medieval gate situated between two bastions surrounded by a moat.

Towards the center

Then we follow Via Gracco del Secco towards the center. You can't really get lost - you are walking down one main street all the time. We pass various historical buildings, palaces and tenement houses. We reach a crossroads where we turn left (B; GPS: 43.4209906, 11.1163210). Continue along Via Francesco Campana, until you see Palazzo Campana (C; GPS: 43.4215822, 11.1185155) - the building through which we enter the very center of the town. Walking the Via del Castello, we reach the Piazza del Duomo square (D; GPS: 43.4222635, 11.1202546), where the Palazzo dei Priori is located, which houses the museum of secular and sacred art. We recommend it, it's really worth visiting! And next to it was built an interesting 17th-century cathedral in the architectural style of Tuscan Baroque and Neoclassicism.

As we mentioned, it is the center of the crystal industry. Walking along the streets of the old town, we pass crystal shops and a crystal museum (E; GPS: 43.4227481, 11.1213197). We finally reach the place where our route ends. It is a small square called Il Baluardo, with a lift (F; GPS: 43.4231243, 11.1235028), which we can be used to go down to the so-called Lower Town. This part of the town can also be reached via Via Pozzo Tondo street. The square is also a nice view point.

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