Fortezza de' Cortesi

Localita Monti, 26, San Gimignano, 53037, Italy
Fortezza de' Cortesi
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More about San Gimignano


Via San MatteoVia San Matteo

Torre GrossaTorre Grossa

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View of San Gimignano (picture from my postcard)View of San Gimignano (picture from my postcard)

Forum Posts

To Visit San Gimignano?

by wcbert

I will be visiting Tuscany in late September by a car. I have scratched visiting San Gimignano off my list because from what I read it is a tourist magnet in Tuscany. I do not mind crowds, but I try to avoid them. Sometimes you have no choice like Venice during the daytime it is full of tourist but they are all gather at around San Marco. Are the crowds during the day as bad as a read in many of Tourist guides? I was thinking maybe visiting San Gimignano late in the afternoon hoping much of the tourist have departed on their tour buses. Maybe even have dinner there.


Re: To Visit San Gimignano?

by Docu2001

Its worth a late afternoon visit ... in fact ... that's just about the best time to see it ...

Re: To Visit San Gimignano?

by mccalpin

Many smaller Italian towns - San Gimignano, Spoleto, Orvieto, etc. - are visited by hordes of people during the day, who arrive from larger cities (Florence, Rome, etc.) in the morning on tour buses and leave the same day.

This means that the real way to see these smaller towns is to spend the night in them. It's priceless to spend the evening in one of these small towns after the tour buses have gone home. You walk the narrow streets, you see the locals, you feel much more like you belong there.

I can't tell you the number of times I have done this and had the time of my life.

You are correct to go in late September; not only has the weather cooled noticeably, but the number of tourists drops off sharply towards the end of September.

The fact that you have a car is both good news and bad news. The good news is that you get to visit places that are otherwise hard to get to. Chiusi, for example, is not on anyone's must see list (except mine), but a car makes it easy to get in, see the National Museum, the Etruscan tombs, and lunch in the restaurant that has an Etruscan wine cellar. The bad news is that it can be difficult or impossible to drive or park in some of the smaller cities - upper Assisi, for example, is off-limits to non-resident cars (you have to park in a lot at the edge of town and walk in or or get the hotel to send a car).

Still, if you are comfortable drving in Italy, there are more pluses than minuses, and I hope that you use the car to visit places that most people never bother to see...


Re: Re: To Visit San Gimignano?

by tini58de

We stayed at the nearby campground in San Gimignano, so we had a choice on when to visit this beautiful little town!

You are definitely right: it is a tourist magnet, but for a good reason, too! I can just second the point that Bill made - so go for it!

Enjoy your trip - and if you have one day left: do visit Pienza!!! If you like, you can have a look at my Tuscany page and maybe get some more suggestions from it!


Re: To Visit San Gimignano?

by marcoelectric

I think that in late September you will not find too many tourists in San Giminiano...

For sure in late afternoon many people leave, but also at the sunset and during the evening that town is really really amazing, don't miss it!!

Have a nice journey

Re: To Visit San Gimignano?

by wcbert

Thanks to everyone who replied to my message. San Gimignano is now back on the list. :)))))


Travel Tips for San Gimignano


by Aurorae

The Duomo or Collegiate Church, was consecrated in 1148 and is adorned with valuable Sienese School frescoes: "The Old and the New Testament" (Bartolo di Fredi and the "Bottega dei Memmi" or Barna da Siena); "The Last Judgement" (Taddeo di Bartolo) works of art by the Florentine school: "Stories of St. Fina" (Ghirlandaio), "St. Sebastiano" (Benozzo Gozzoli), wooden statues (Jacopo della Quercia) and the Sculptures (Giuliano and Benedetto da Maiano). Frescoes, statues and sculptures make the Collegiate Church of San Gimignano a very prestigious museum.

The Ice Cream Champion

by babettu about Gelateria Di Piazza

This small but very popular Gelateria Di Piazza is very well known amongst locals and tourists for the best ice cream in Tuscany. The owner Sergio has won many competitions including the Gelato Del Mondo 2006-07 and 2008-09. On our visit there we saw pictures of famous people who have visited his gelateria. If you go there be sure to try out the pistachio flavoured ice cream, which is made from the finest Sicilian nuts !!!

Porta San Giovanni

by MM212

The most important of the city gates of San Gimignano, Porta San Giovanni lies at the southern end of the fortified wall. The road from here reached Siena along Via Francigena, the famous pilgrim road which eventually led to Rome. Anyone approaching from Siena, even nowadays, would likely enter the city through this gate. The structure itself was built in 1262 and it leads into Via San Giovanni, one of the main streets in San Gimignano. Towering above the gate is the small campanile, or bell tower, of la Chiesa della Madonna dei Lumi, a church built in 1601 but partially destroyed in 1922 to cut the road through.


by croisbeauty

The Collegiate Church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, was built in Romanesque style in the 11th century. The front facade of this three naves building is very simple, almost undecorated at all, but the interior is rich of numerous art treasures. Probably the most valuable are two wooden statues carved by Jacopo della Quercia, the Chapel of Saint Fina by Giuliano da Maiano which is the jewel of Renaissance art, and above all frescoe scenes from the New Testament which should be attributed to Simone Martini. This frescoes are considered a milestone of Italian Gothic art.

San Augustino

by croisbeauty

The Gothic style church of Saint Augustine was built in the mid-13th century and has one nave only. Behind the very simple facade it houses important art tresure, part of the Italian heritage. The right chapel is a splendid Renaissance jewel designed by Benedetto da Maiano and frescoed by Sebastiano Mainardi. On the main altar there is a large tablet by Piero del Pollaiolo portraying The Coronation of the Virgin, a masterpiece of Firentine renaissance painting. Episodes from the life story of Saint Augustine, covering the choir walls, is fresco by Benozzo Gozzoli, famous Firentine painter.
Opposite to Saint Augustine there is small Romanesque Church of Saint Peter, mentioned in a bill by Honorius III.


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