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San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy

San Gimignano is located in Tuscany, about 40 km north-west of Siena. It is a medieval town with famous towers. These buildings make the town very unique and quite different from other places. For this reason, San Gimignano is sometimes called a medieval Manhattan. The town is visited by lots of tourists, because everyone wants to see this interesting architecture.

Parking in San Gimignano

The town offers a number of good car parks, one on the north side (P1; GPS: 43.470965, 11.044916) and two on the south side (P2; GPS: 43.462540, 11.041480 and P3; GPS: 43.464614, 11.041416). We chose the parking lot on the north side, then walked the alley next to the church of Sant'Agostino (A; GPS: 43.470755, 11.041886) from the thirteenth century, and Piazza S. Agostino (B; GPS: 43.470511, 11.041712).

Toward the center of the town

We shortly walked the street Via delle Romite, then we walked more important street Via San Matteo, which leads to the center of the village. In the distance we saw some characteristic towers. They were built between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. At the beginning they played a function which could be called an "ultimate place of refuge". Let's remember that the times were uncertain and wars or attacks were frequent. However later, the towers building process has become something like a competition - rich citizens competed with each other, who makes a higher tower.

Piazza del Duomo

We reach the first interesting square - Piazza del Duomo (C; GPS: 43.467839, 11.043213). It houses the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta di Siena from the twelfth century, situated on the elevation with the stairs. Right next to the church there is an interesting town hall with a beautiful 54-meter tower Torre Grossa. There is the possibility of climbing the tower. In the square we can also find another three towers and interesting Palazzo Vecchio del Podesta from the twelfth century.

Piazza della Cisterna

We move from Piazza del Duomo to another square Piazza della Cisterna (D; GPS: 43.467439, 11.043773). We think that this is the most beautiful square in San Gimignano, surrounded by medieval towers and interesting buildings. In the middle of the square there is an octagonal travertine well from the thirteenth century, from which it derives its name. At the end of Via del Castello we can see Palazzo Tortoli (E; GPS: 43.467810, 11.045493) from the fourteenth century. We go down the street Via San Giovanni until we reach the southern borders of this beautiful town (F; GPS: 43.464912, 11.042618).

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