I missed visiting the Tuscan town of San Gimignano (Pronounced: San Jimi Nya No) on my very first visit to Italy. Since then it was on my mind to see the place where Tea with Mussolini was shot. A picturesque town situated on the river Elsa, San Gimignano is a favorite for anyone visiting Tuscany.
Famous for its walled medieval area, long vineyards and olive groves, San Gimignano is also home to 14 towers that add beauty to its skyline. At one time there were over 70 of them and one can only imagine what a sight that must have been!
San Gimignano is full of tourists (like me) and has a lot of local artisan shops of ceramics, handicrafts and food that are perfect souvenirs.
The town is home to the beautiful cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta which has frescoes from the Sienese School. There are also several churches such as Church of San Lorenzo, Church of San Bartolo and Church of San Giromlamo.
The life of the town is of course the piazza. San Gimignano’s Piazza della Cisterna is lively with an ancient well and beautiful walls. At the piazza is a world famous gelato maker called Dondoli.
This little ice cream parlour is known for its delicious gelato and innumerable flavours made from regional specialities. I was spoilt for choice here and ended up having several flavours of gelato- mango, olive, lavender and hazelnut. All so different and yummy!
It is a delight to walk in the town especially in those tiny vicoli (alley) that end of taking you to some beautiful views of the countryside.
It was so much fun walking and discussing this Tuscan town. I will be back soon with another place 🙂 Till then, ciao.
Things to Note:
-San Gimignano is an easy day trip from Florence or Siena by bus/car.
–Trattoria Chiribiri and Bar La Cisterna are good options to eat in the town.
-You will also find several agriturismo in the surrounding areas that make great stay options.
–The Vernaccia Museum of Wine has guided tours that tell about the cultivation of wine in the region along with wine tasting.