Find out why San Gimignano, Italy, is referred to as the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages”
One of the best-preserved urban medieval towns in the world, San Gimignano is also known as the “Manhattan of the Middle Ages” because of its towers, medieval buildings and architectures, and a breathtaking skyline.
Located about 324 meters above sea level, San Gimignano was once known as a stopping point of Catholic pilgrims on their way to Vienna or Rome. A medieval walled city, San Gimignano is nestled on a hill in the midst of Tuscany’s countryside. The city was named after the bishop of Modena, San Gimignano. During the middles ages, prominent families started building towers higher than their neighbors as a sign or wealth and power. At that time, the town had 72 towers, 15 of which are still standing today. The city is home to more than 7,500 inhabitants, and covers a total area of 53 square miles. San Gimignano is an ideal day trip from Florence which is about 23 miles away.
Make sure you have comfortable shoes when visiting the city. Walk through its cobbled streets and explore its top attractions including the Gimignano Bell Tower, Piazza della Cisterna, Palazzo Pubblico e Torre Grossa, Torre del palazzo del Podesta, Piazza del Duomo, Rocca of Montestaffoli, and Torre Salvucci Maggiore. If you have more time, you must visit the Balducci Ceramics which offers free pottery demonstrations, Medieval Criminal and Torture Museum, Museo Etrusco, and for wine connoisseurs, the Sovestro in Poggio Winery.
Although the city can feel a little “touristy” with hundreds of visitors trekking to San Gimignano daily, it is still a must-visit. After all, San Gimignano is the Manhattan of the Middle Ages! Consult your travel agent for more details.