A Historic UNESCO World Heritage Site
The towers, iconic symbols of San Gimignano, identify this medieval city that rises in the midst of a sea of hills. Included since 1990 on the UNESCO World Heritage List for the architecture and works of art preserved in its historic centre, San Gimignano offers unique and thrilling panoramas.
You can visit the Collegiate Church, enriched by beautiful frescoes and sculptures by Renaissance masters such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Jacopo della Quercia, and Benozzo Gozzoli, and you must climb the Torre Grossa after visiting the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall), now home to the Pinacoteca, where works by Pinturicchio, Filippino Lippi, and Lippo Memmi are kept.
You would do well to visit all the churches of the historic centre, including Sant'Agostino and San Lorenzo in Ponte, and the splendid parish churches immersed in the countryside, such as the Church of Santa Maria Assunta of Cellole and that of Monte Oliveto.
But San Gimignano does not belong exclusively to the Middle Ages; contemporary art also has its place there. In fact, in the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, there are works by artists such as De Chirico and Carrà, and along the streets and through the squares, you can wander among art galleries with contemporary works by international artists.
Wine and agricultural products complete the history and richness of the village: from the wine Vernaccia di San Gimignano, made from the first grape variety to obtain the DOCG designation in Italy, to the local saffron (Zafferano of San Gimignano DOP), which was even used by the municipality in the year 1200 to repay debts incurred following a siege.
“The towers, an iconic landmark of San Gimignano, identify this medieval town that stands out among the rolling hills.”
The historic centre of San Gimignano offers works of public art by internationally renowned artists such as Jannis Kounellis, Luciano Fabro, Giulio Paolini, Eliseo Mattiacci, Nunzio, Joseph Kosuth, Anish Kapoor, and Kiki Smith. These works are the result of the projects Affinity and Art to Art, which have been carried out since 1994 in the historic city centre. Records of the projects can be seen at the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art together with an important collection of works from the 1900s.
In the centre there are other works by local artists and works located in various outdoor sites but also numerous prestigious private galleries, and you can find street artists who each day create their works en plein air.
In the same building that houses the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art there is also the Archaeological Museum, where the statue Hinthial is kept.
An extraordinary and fortuitous archaeological discovery revealed, along the Via Francigena, an important Etruscan outdoor sacred area that had been in use from the third century BC until the second century AD. Among the many objects that attest to the prolonged use of the area, the most surprising discovery was Hinthial, a statue of the type of elongated bronzes of the Hellenistic period, very similar to the famous Shadow of the Evening of Volterra.
This statue, more than 64 cm high, represents a standing male figure wearing a toga, the right hand holding a bowl with a protrusion in the middle (an umbilicate patera), while the left, held against the body, emerges from under the toga. The features of the face are well marked and full of details.
Historical dwellings, charming country houses, refined relais or ancient castles, all immersed in the countryside, to share the experience of what it was like to live in another time. Find your favourite accommodation and enjoy each awakening in the beauty of Valdelsa Valdicecina.