Arco dei Becci, San Gimignano
Linking Via San Giovanni with Piazza della Cisterna, the Arco dei Becci was once the town's southern gate. It was built at the end of the 10th century along with the original fortified walls, but the gate was opened and made into an arch in 1262 when San Gimignano expanded and the outer walls were built. It was also incorporated into the construction of the adjacent buildings including its namesake tower, la Torre dei Becci, which also dates from the 13th century.
At the end of Via San Giovanni you arrive to the Arco dei Becci. This door was built in the 11th century and was included in the first wall of the town. From this gateway you go the the religious and political heart of San Gimignano. Near Arco dei Becci there is the Torre dei Becci (as you can see in the photos), built in the 11th century for the Becci's, a very important merchant family during the Middle Ages.
Via San Giovanni opens onto a small square overlooked by the Cugnanesi Tower, used in the 13th century as a watchtower. It is, as far as I am concerned, the most pitoresque part of the town. At the end of the street there is the church of the Brotherhood of Saint Fina housing a collection of the birds, while on the right are beautiful Becci and Cugnanesi arches.