Things to do in San Gimignano

Things to do in  San Gimignano

A cityscape frozen in time

Dubbed “Medieval Manhattan”, San Gimignano turns heads with one of the most striking skylines in Tuscany. More than a dozen 14th-century towers soar above its UNESCO-listed historic center—just a fraction of the original 72 that once stood here—and visitors are drawn to the compact old town for its timeless atmosphere, unparalleled cuisine, and sweeping hilltop views over the surrounding Chianti countryside. Just beyond the city walls sit some of the most prestigious wineries in Tuscany, connected by scenic hiking, biking, and horseback riding routes.

Top 1 attractions in San Gimignano

Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di San Gimignano)

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San Gimignano’s Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, known simply as the Duomo, is one of the most impressive sights in this Tuscan hill town’s UNESCO-listed historic center. The church’s plain façade belies the beauty of its exquisite 14th- and 15th-century frescoes inside, remarkable for their bold colors and painstaking details.More

Top activities in San Gimignano

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All about San Gimignano

When to visit

A popular day trip destination from Florence, San Gimignano bursts with tourists in summer and on holiday weekends. A spring or fall weekday visit allows you to enjoy this medieval hill town in relative peace, plus you can take advantage of the cooler temperatures and see the surrounding hills blanketed in vineyards and olive groves. The town’s historic Ferie delle Messi, a medieval harvest festival, takes place in June, with period costumes, jousting, and entertainment.

Getting around

Despite its outsized fame, San Gimignano is a tiny village that can be crossed on foot in minutes. Most of the old town is closed to traffic, so pedestrians have the lanes to themselves to wander and explore. Because there is no train station, day-trippers must arrive from Florence by bus or car; the historic center is ringed with small parking areas that are a short walk from the thoroughfare and square.

Traveler tips

In addition to its 14 landmark towers, San Gimignano is home to another iconic attraction: Gelateria Dondoli, where celebrity gelataio Sergio Dondoli holds court among his tubs of gourmet gelato, considered some of the finest in Italy. Try his trademark flavors like crema di Santa Fina flavored with certified San Gimignano saffron and pine nuts, vernaccia sorbet featuring the area’s famous white wine, and Champelmo, a mix of pink grapefruit and bubbly.

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People Also Ask

What is San Gimignano, Italy known for?

Often called Italy’s medieval Manhattan, San Gimignano is famous for its singular skyline featuring more than a dozen 14th-century towers. This hill town was once home to 72 soaring tower houses, built by the most powerful families as a sign of their wealth and prestige in the Middle Ages.

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Is San Gimignano worth visiting?

Yes, as one of Tuscany’s most popular hill towns, San Gimignano has a UNESCO-listed historic center that is well worth exploring. Stroll through its intact medieval cityscape and take in views over the surrounding vineyard-covered hills from the top of Torre Grossa, the tallest of the town’s landmark towers.

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How do I spend a day in San Gimignano?

Dedicate your morning to San Gimignano’s old town inside the medieval city walls. Stroll through Piazza Duomo, admire the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, and climb Torre Grossa for bird’s-eye views. After lunch, strike out into the surrounding wine country to visit a cellar for a tour and tasting.

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How long do you need in San Gimignano?

It only takes a few hours to cover San Gimignano’s compact old town, so you can easily take in the highlights in half a day. Plan to spend a full day if you want to pair your time in town with a winery visit in the nearby hills.

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What is special about San Gimignano?

With its clutch of medieval towers piercing the sky high above the rooftops, the striking outline of San Gimignano can be spotted from miles around. One of the most distinctive hill towns in Tuscany, this architectural gem is home to the lion’s share of Italy’s remaining historic tower houses.

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Can you climb the towers in San Gimignano?

Of the 14 towers still standing in San Gimignano, only Torre Grossa is open to the public. The highest tower in town, it sits in Piazza Duomo and is open daily, year-round. There is no elevator, so you have to climb the 218 steps to reach the top.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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