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San Gimignano

Introduction

This walled town nestled on a hill has become a great attraction in the region due to its Medieval sites and charming atmosphere. Outside of summer the town becomes a bit more pleasant for walking since during the summer it is buzzing with tourists. The city is easily accessible and within a stone´s throw of Siena and Florence, the two most esteemed cities in Tuscany.
The lofty 72 towers of San Gimignano show us how powerful the families who had the town built in the Middle Ages were.

The town is surrounded by fertile land where the highly sought-after saffron is grown.
 
San Gimignano was first an Etruscan settlement which was given its name because of the bishop of Modena who is said to have protected it from Attila, the leader of the Huns. At the end of the 12th century is was already a commune in constant conflict with Volterra. Also the fight between the Guelphs and Ghibellines fight reached it when its families divided the town for about 200 years. In this period of power struggle the majority of the towers were erected.
A plague struck the town in the 14th century and decimated its population leading to the deterioration of the power of its families which eventually caused it to fall into Florence’s hands.
Porta San Giovanni in the south and Porta San Matteo in the north are the two of the main entrances into this ancient world.




 
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