10 Things to Do in San Gimignano That You Shouldn't Miss

December 12, 2017 Elouise Mccaul

San Gimignano, known as the "city of beautiful towers," had 72 towers in its heyday. Now 14 remain, and, rising above Tuscany's Elsa Valley, they make the town look like a medieval dreamscape. Take in the fresco-covered Collegiate Church, the Civic Museum and the views from atop 177-foot Torre Grossa. Daytrippers from Florence tend to fill up the streets during the day, so for a more up-close-and-personal look at the town, spend the night.
Restaurants in San Gimignano

1. Guardastelle Vineyard

Località Sovestro, 53037, San Gimignano, Italy +39 0577 907209
Excellent
90%
Good
7%
Satisfactory
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5 based on 546 reviews

Guardastelle Vineyard

Welcome in our house! Walking distance from San Gimignano, one of the most important towns of Tuscany, during the wine tour you'll discover a part of Tuscany that few people knows. You'll understand how is the countrylife in this part of the world. I won't say what our tour includes or not.....reviews speaks for us! We wait to welcome you, as private or group. Reservation required to tour the farm.

Reviewed By Lena M

Just came back from a weekend in Toscana. The second night me and my husband stayed in Agriturismo Guardastelle situated on Sovestro in Poggios vineyard near San Gimignano.
We are in love with this place !!!A magic spot with incredible beautiful surroundings. The staff were really nice and professional and when we arrived we were offered a glas of wine and got help to find the way to our lovely room "Francesca" The room was in old style but with everything you needed. A sweet bathroom with generous offer of schampoo shower gel e.t.c. And this room really was a room with a view!! Beautiful to wake up and open the windows and look out.. The only negative thing for me is that the bed is a little to hard but this is very common in Italy so it´s just to be prepared and like it. :) Also a little pity that there is no restaurant so you have to take the car and find one. But the staff is very helpful and can give you names on good restaurants . Breakfast is good and you eat it in a charming room or outside with a stunning view .. The place has also a nice pool area perfect situated. Overall we are very pleased to have been here and can really recommend Agriturismo Guardastelle. And if you like taking photos you will "go bananas" Enjoy!

2. Historic Centre of San Gimignano

Piazza del Duomo 2, 53037, San Gimignano, Italy +39 0577 9901
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
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4.5 based on 3 reviews

Historic Centre of San Gimignano

Reviewed By CzarEmmanuel - Manila, Philippines

Italy perhaps boasts of the most number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world and San Gimignano is one of them. It is a small town famous for its Medieval structures, beginning with its surrounding walls, old houses, churches, square and, of course, "house towers". Its location up on a hill makes this town postcard perfect! It offers you a great background for photo ops!
Walking through its narrow streets really brings you back in time. Although this town had far remote origins (3rd century BC), the structures that you'll see here are mostly Medieval (12th century onwards). The town square is particularly beautiful, with all its old houses, bars and restaurants, souvenir shops, etc. You should try some of the local vernaccia wine here (which is very sweet) and its homemade ice cream! :D
One particular place I would recommend is the Church of Saint Augustine. Its apse is painted with frescoes dating back to the 14th-15th centuries. They depict episodes from the life of St. Augustine and their vivid colors are perfectly preserved! Another curious place of interest in town is its torture museum! On display, of course, are instruments used during the Medieval period to torture criminals.
Of all the structures of San Gimignano, the town is famous especially for its number of so-called "house towers". Fourteen out of the original 72 of such house towers have survived. They literally tower high above the town (up to 70 meters tall!) and are visible even from kilometers away. A visit to this small town is highly recommended for lovers of Medieval history, art and architecture!

3. Torre e Casa Campatelli

Via San Giovanni 15, 53037, San Gimignano, Italy +39 0577 941419
Excellent
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Good
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5 based on 150 reviews

Torre e Casa Campatelli

Located in San Gimignano, Campatelli is an 18th-century building that features one of the town’s famous medieval towers. The residence of a high-ranking family in the 19th and 20th centuries, Casa Campatelli reconstructs - through its fornitures, decor, paintings and private mementos - the ambience and history of a traditional Tuscan family and society of a bygone age, set against the background of 1000 years of history, recounted with sophisticated digital technology that encapsulates the origin of the legend of San Gimignano, givin visitors a deeper insight unto the town.

Reviewed By twinkle07 - London, United Kingdom

A family residence in San Gimignano encapsulating 1000 years of history.
This was a fascinating tour of a high ranking family residence in the 19th and 20th centuries. An insight into their lives whilst surrounded by the families furniture, decor, paintings and private mementos as well as the town itself.

4. Podere La Marronaia- Sosta Alle Colonne

Via Martiri di Citerna, 53037, San Gimignano, Italy +39 0577 907265
Excellent
94%
Good
4%
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5 based on 337 reviews

Podere La Marronaia- Sosta Alle Colonne

Podere la Marronaia is a small familyrunned farm involved in the biodynamic method of cultivation of grapes and olives. Podere la Marronaia produces white, red and rosè wines and extra virgin olive oil. Wine and olive olive tastings are possible as well as farm visit.

Reviewed By Rosie L

We had a lovely time here and enjoyed the truffle lunch which was absolutely delicious. The wine was also superb and provided in copious amounts. However, we were disappointed not to get the tour which we had understood to be included and the whole experience felt slightly rushed, although this my have been our fault as we were slightly late. On the plus side, they have the cutest dogs in the world which are wandering around, and very well behaved and the staff were really friendly.

5. San Gimignano 1300

Via la Costarella n. 3, 53037, San Gimignano, Italy +39 327 439 5165
Excellent
77%
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

San Gimignano 1300

This is the town of San Gimignano, re-created in miniature, as it appeared in medieval times. It is accompanied by historical dioramas and a fascinaating timeline of the town's history.A new and exciting activity through the streets of the medieval town, solving puzzles, riddles and pitfalls.The protagonists will receive a kit that includes a map of the city as it was in the 1300s, a pen and a 14 page booklet where they will find not only the riddles for the hunt but also detailed explanations on all the towers that still exist today,on the 4 “Contrade” or Neighborhoods and the most important families of that period.The treasure hunt is available in Italian, English and French.

Reviewed By champion13 - Perth, Australia

Lovely little museum with full scale miniatures of the buildings, it's beautiful, must have been a very patient person to make, it was free to view but there is a donation box for the upkeep, well worth the look. I spent so long in there looking, my daughter came to see if I was okay. I would have spent longer if allowed, we were on a tour though.

6. San Gimignano Bell Tower

Piazza del Duomo, 53037, San Gimignano, Italy +39 320 156 3234
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

San Gimignano Bell Tower

Reviewed By LadyDarcy - Knoxville, Tennessee

I'm not entirely sure this is the same bell tower I climbed... I climbed about 400 steps and there was a bell at the top... Someone on here said over 1000 steps, and that is just not true (or I am mistaken!)
Nice climb, not too bad, lovely views, the stairs are nice, the ceilings are old and wonderful. The stairs are easy til the almost-top, where there is a ladder to the outlook point. Lots of great pictures from here!

7. Piazza della Cisterna

Piazza Della Cisterna, San Gimignano, Italy +39 0577 940008
Excellent
62%
Good
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Piazza della Cisterna

San Gimignano's main square has the town's 13th-century cistern, or well, in the center surrounded by some of the town's majestic towers.

Reviewed By VadimM67 - Murmansk, Russia

Many Italian cities have preserved the dual structure since Roman times. One square was official. There were usually Prince's Palace or Town Hall with Cathedral. It was for the nobility, like in Roman times the forum was for the patricians. Piazza del Duomo has fulfilled this role in San Gimignano. Congregational Church and two palazzos supported the religious and political status. The other square was for residents (in Rome the plebs). Life was in full swing there, because the market was there. The city lived here. Sale, urban gossip, street Performances and festivals. All here on the triangular piazza della Cisterna. And the water was also here in a large underground tank (cistern) built in 1287. The cistern has travertine octagonal pedestal.. The most important buildings are in the immediate vicinity of the tank: palazzo Razzi, Casa Silvestrini , palazzo Tortoli.

8. Palazzo Pubblico e Torre Grossa

Piazza del Duomo, San Gimignano, Italy +39 0577 286300
Excellent
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Good
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4.5 based on 450 reviews

Palazzo Pubblico e Torre Grossa

Reviewed By MrRwFr - Geneva, Switzerland

Besides the history and culture the tower is relatively easy to climb as they have built a metallic staircase which is easy to use, at the top however, and you are warned, be careful of your head. Not accessible to anyone but definitely worthwhile..
The views are wonderfull..

9. La Bottega del Sale di Duccio Nacci photographer

Piazza del Duomo 13, 53037, San Gimignano, Italy +39 347 485 6657
Excellent
91%
Good
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5 based on 89 reviews

La Bottega del Sale di Duccio Nacci photographer

I was born in 1967 in San Gimignano, and here I decided to live and work.Since I was a young boy, the passion for photography has fascinated me, at the beginning because I felt I was immortalizing happy moments. And as I grew up I felt more and more that this hobby could become a serious occupation. As early as 1997 I had the chance to illustrate catalogues and books in collaboration with several national and international magazines (Conde Nast, Rusconi, Mondatori and others).Now he is looking towards a different type of image: a silent landscape where the human person, even though invisible, is always present and leads us towards a melancholic kind of joy.My first book "Viaggio nella Campagna Toscana" ("A Journey through Tuscan Landscapes") was published in 1998 after long and careful work so as to lead the reader on a poetic and aesthetic journey through the beauty of Tuscany. My wife Renata and I then decided to open a photo shop in San Gimignano, the first of its kind to sell colour and black and white photographs taken by me and printed in my own workshop. Our "La Bottega del Sale", the medieval "Salt Shop"in the Piazza Duomo, was inaugurated in April 2000 where we started this beautiful adventure which has brought us such great satisfaction.My journey as a photographer has grown steadily over the years. Initially I specialised in photographing landscapes, architecture and art. Later I tried to catch the soul of a silent landscape where the human being - even if not visibile - is always there conveying a feeling of melancholic joy. The second book of colour shots was published in 2008, with the title "Toscana dell'Anima" ("Tuscany of the Soul"), a volume of photographs selected together with poems of Tuscan authors of every age, from passionate verses from Cecco Angiolieri and Dante Alighieri to calmer and more ironic poets such as Folgore da San Gimignano and Aldo Palazzeschi. In the meantime, I have exhibited, participated in special events, and shown my work at "Rencontres de la Photographie" in Arles (France) in 2008 and 2009.I succeeded in realizing my first volume in black and white after years awaiting and respecting the flow of nature, in order to be able to photograph a landscape not just in its authentic form, but as my eyes would always like to see it. You must not be in a hurry when wishing to reproduce the sensations that flow through you when seeing a beautiful thing, and so "Toscana, occhi nel Silenzio" ("Tuscany, Eyes in the Silence") was published in 2010.

Reviewed By Nan Carle B - Morrisville, Vermont

Duccio Nacci is Tuscany. He was born in San Gimignano and continues to live, work and thrive in this lovely medieval town. His photography glows with the spirit and the energy of the landscape and the people of Tuscany. He knows the trees, the back roads, the hills and dales, the sheep and their shepherds - both man and dog. He knows the towns and their reflections. He knows the cafes, and the places for the best gelato. But best of all he is a master of the light. For photographers - light is the essence of the art. Duccio is that artist. He is also a fine teacher. My husband and I enjoy seeing the world from a photographers lens. We are avid photographers and when we travel we often seek out regional photographers with whom to spend time. We spent two days with Duccio searching for the morning light and the storms and rainbows of the late afternoon. He took us to his favourite spots and helped us take our best shots ever. We are both very pleased with the outcomes of our photographs and we are very aware that we would have never found and experienced such beauty on our own. Spending time with Duccio was more than a holiday experience it was a gift of life. Meet him. Talk to his wife Renata who runs their beautiful gallery set on the Piazza del Duomo. Spend time. Don't hurry through. You won't be disappointed. We will most certainly return and hope to work with him again chasing the light.

10. Torre Grossa (o Torre del palazzo del Podesta)

Piazza del Duomo, San Gimignano, Italy +39 0577 286300
Excellent
61%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
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4.5 based on 270 reviews

Torre Grossa (o Torre del palazzo del Podesta)

Along with the Clock Tower, the Podesta's Palace Towers are the most impressive as they look out over the Piazza Duomo.

Reviewed By Oded I

This is the tallest tower of the 7 (?) in San Gimignano. The staircase has been replaced with modern wide metal stairs, making it really easy to climb, also with young children. There are only 218 steps to climb and you get to a really fantastic view of the city and the area. There's also a nice little museum at the bottom of the tower that you can visit with the same ticket.

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