Right after Porta San Giovanni there is the ancient cobbled street of San Giovanni, the main street of San Gimignano. San Giovanni street is flanked by imposing buildings, some of which still have their tower. The street itself is a real beauty of the medieval architecture.
Most of the buildings are notable example of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, built in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Linking Porta San Giovanni with Piazza della Cisterna, Via San Giovanni is one of the main thoroughfares of San Gimignano. Outside the fortified walls, it led to Via Francigena which, in Mediaeval times, transported pilgrims and Crusaders all the way to Rome. Today, Via San Giovanni is a pedestrianised, cobblestoned street with numerous artisanal shops and mediaeval architecture along its side. It is one of the first sights visitors see upon arrival in San Gimignano from the south. Via San Giovanni was named after the Convent and Church of San Giovanni, which was rededicated to San Francesco in the 16th century, though the street kept its name.
Via San Giovanni is the main road of the town and it is part of the old street called Via Francigena which connected Rome to Europe. Along the street you can see very interesting houses, towers and house-towers and churches which remember the original Medieval setting of the town.
From the Porta San Giovanni you can follow the Via San Giovanni to the heart of the city. This is a nice old shopping street. Here you will find a lot of souvenir shops and tourists.