The sqares of San Gimignano
There are dozen of small charming squares in San Grimignano, some of them with cafe-bars or restaurants, some without where people just get together asking or exchanging informations regarding the sights and directions. Since small place, you'll probably see the same face again when strolling around.
For residents of small towns neighborhood squares have very big importance, because these are places where people meet, talk and socialize. I know it from my personal experience because I grew up in a relatively small coastal town.
Rooftops of San Grimignano and its close surroundings viewed from the top of the Medici fortress. Wherever you look around there is at least one small tower rising up in the middle of the roofs.
Brick tiles are now used very rarely, except perhaps on the houses that are in the peripheral areas of cities or in the countryside. Besides being very well protected roof, tile gives more humane look of the house and besides its ornamental.
The Wine - VERNACCIA di SAN GIMIGNANO
"The vines of the wellknov VERNACCIA di SAN GIMIGNANO, have been mentioned for centuries throughout various official and scientific documents, literature etc. Its well merited fame derives from its quality and appraisable characteristics.
It seems as if the vines of the VERNACCIA di SAN GIMIGNANO were first introduced into the region of San Gimignano by a certain Vieri De' Bardi around the year 1200. It was later on, that his ancestors Zanobi and Angiolo Bardi developed the cultivation of the vines that were destined to become famously appreciated.
It is certain that in the year 1276 VERNACCIA di San Gimignano's trade was flourishing. Infact, we find in the official documents "Ordinamenti della Gabella" dated 1276, that a duty tax of "3 coins" was established for each sum of VERNACCIA sent outside San Gimignano's jurisdiction. We also find a registration of superintendents, for the finer VERNACCIA wines. They were employed by the city district to control the wine trade. Therefore, it is quite evident that, already in this period, VERNACCIA has acquired notable prestige throughout the Tuscan and Italian market place. It also gladden the tables of the noble and rich. Dante Alighieri himself, while wondering among the gluttons of his Purgatory, happens upon Foreste Donati. He indicates to Dante an old man (Pope Martino IV) who is paying the price for having stuffed himself with eels alla VERNACCIA…. "Questi e, mostrò col dito, è Bonagiunta. Bonagiunta da Lucca: e quella faccia di là da lui più che l'altra trapunta ebbe la Santa Chiesa e le sue braccia: dal Torso fù, e purga per digiuno l'anguille di Bolsena e la VERNACCIA" (Purg. XXIV, 19-24)."
Museo del Vino
One of the newer Museums in town is the Museo del Vino (Wine Museum), which is located just outside the Rocca (fortress), on the western side of town.
The Museum is run by the Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Road Association, and is a tribute to the quality and prestige of the Vernaccia white wine produced in San Gimignano. It is known as the finest of the Tuscan white wines.
A visit to the museum will give you a journey through the production of Vernaccia. You can gain an understanding of the origins and history of the wine and the production methods used today.
It is an odd little place, but worth having a look at when you are visiting the fortress next door. Admission is free, but you will have to pay if you want to do some wine tasting.
Located at Parco della Rocca, next to Rocca entrance.
- Museum Visits
- Wine Tasting
The streets of San Gimignano
San Gimignano has typical medieval structure with short and narrow streets and the houses thickly congested to each other. Besides, most of the streets are curved while some of them arched or corridor-looked. I like that kind of structure which offers you to see the people faces when passing by.
Town of towers
As of the 13th century homes of nobles were built in the town centre, flanked by towers as a symbol of their power. It is said that at the height of the town's glory, there were 72 towers present. Today, there are only 14 left.
I was not there long enough to figure out the schedule, but there are fresh meat, poultry, and dairy markets some mornings in the main piazza. Fresh produce for evening meals made even a horrible cook (me) look good!!
Thursday is Market Day
Every Thursday is market day and all the locals come out to buy food and other staples. Flowers, meats, clothing, handmade soaps, etc. It's all here. They also have what we would call a "Roach Coach" that has the best roasted chicken and potatoes that I've ever eaten. Also wonderful grilled marinated eggplant and peppers.
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