San Gimignano, What to See: 5 Ideas (and a Treasure)

Are you in Tuscany, thinking about heading over to San Gimignano? Would you perhaps like to avoid stumbling into throngs of tourists? Here are some tips for a rewarding visit for the eyes and the palate.

Arriving at San Gimignano

The most notable thing about San Gimignano is San Gimignano. It isn’t a play on words. The “City of the Hundred Towers” gives its best when it suddenly appears at a curve in the road, behind a hill and in front of the sun that is setting.

We recommend approaching from various directions and at various times of day: from Certaldo coming from Florence, from Poggibonsi on the Florence-Siena highway, and on the sinuous roads which arrive from Volterra. The jagged outline of the city is an unforgettable image and a powerful symbol which you will always carry in your heart.

Torre Grossa, the Spectacle of Tuscany

Step after step after step, you climb to the top of the Torre Grossa, the highest among the city’s towers and the only one which is freely open to the public (best early in the morning—the steps are narrow…). The view from up here is dizzying and your sight expansive: the town packed with towers, surrounded by Tuscany: you can’t get more Tuscany than this.

San Gimignano: acrobatic view from Torre Grossa from the Assassin Creed videogame

Galleria Continua, the Pinnacle of Contemporary Art

Partner of Cecchi in various initiatives, this “small” but very important art gallery has grown over time to become one of the most important in Italy and abroad. Thanks to Continua, San Gimignano is today noted as a contemporary art center as well.

The exhibitions are always of the highest level (the latest was the exhibit dedicated to the great and controversial Chinese artist Ai Weiwei). If you happen to be in town on the day of an opening, don’t miss it.  The events at Continua, located at via del Castello 11, are truly art parties.

Vernaccia Museum

This is the right place for those who love good drinking. At Cecchi we know this well, having chosen the San Gimignano area for the production of one of the wines we care most about: the fragrant Vernaccia Cecchi and Vernaccia Castello Montaùto. At the Museo del Vino della Vernaccia, the Vernaccia Wine Museum, in the Villa of the Montestaffoli Fortress, you will depart on a sensory voyage through tastes, smells, images, words, and even sounds tied to this ancient, surprising wine. A pleasant tasting will naturally be the fitting finale to the experience.

Piazza della Cisterna in miniature, Museo San Gimignano 1300

Voyage in Time, San Gimignano 1300

The San Gimignano Museum offers a fantastic detailed view of the town as it appeared in 1300 at the height of its splendor in a 27 square meter miniature model. Guides in period costumes will take you back in time in a voyage which will thrill and surprise you. The museum also organizes a real treasure hunt which unfolds throughout the city: it will be up to you to find the clues and solve the mystery! The museum is located at via San Giovanni 50, in the middle of the historic center.

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