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San Gimignano


Introduction
San Gimignano is Italy’s best preserved medieval city, famous for its medieval towers looming over the landscape. As in most Tuscan towns, the centre is closed to traffic but there is plenty of parking outside the walls, it is therefore a pleasure to stoll around in the centre.


History
San Gimignano's history dates back to the 10th century, its towers date back to the 11th to 13th century. It got it's name from the Holy Bishop of Modena, Saint Gimignano who was to save the town from the barbarian hordes. In the Middle Ages it increased it's wealth and development due a trading and pilgrim route that passed it. Due to this prosperity there are many beautiful works of art in its churches and monesteries. In 1199 it became a free municipality. Soon after, due to internal power stuggles, it divided into 2 factions.
In 1348 the Plague dramatically reduced the population, which put the city into a crises that caused it to submit to Florence  in 1353. It has overcome it's downfall due to its beauty and cultural importance and the rediscovery of its agricultural heritage.


What to see
There is a picturesque Piazza della Cisterna with the city’s well in the centre. The collegiate church is in the Piazza del Duomo.
The Museo Civico is the town’s local museum, housing a good selection of art and the town’s history. From here it is possible to climb the “Torre Grossa” a few hundred steps but worth it for the view.
From Piazza del Duomo walk up to La Rocca, the ruined fortress, which also gives a good view of the town.
Less visited is the church of Sant’Agostino, on the north side, which has lovely frescoes.
Recently there has been an unusual addition to the town, the Museum of Torture, an exhibition of torture methods and equipment for those with macabre tastes.


Saffron
An important agricultural product of San Gimignano is saffron. Its cultivation dates back to the medieval period when it was of extreme economic importance to the town, it was used to pay debts and as an excise tax.
It is now cultivated with natural methods that forbid any chemical usage at any stage in its cultivation and conservation.


SHOPPING

Alimentari Belvedere

A small grocery shop.
Located: Via Dante Alighieri, 7
Opening times: Monday-Saturday: 7.30-13.30 and 18.00-20.00, from April open on Sunday

Coop supermarket
A larger supermarket, centrally located with a big car park. Inside is an ATM.
Located: Via Baccanella
Opening times: Monday - Saturday: 8.30 .m. - 20.00, closed on Sunday
Web: http://www.e-coop.it/StoreLocator/mobile/storeDetail.jsp?store=227&zoom=9



Bar Combattenti Gelateria
The Bar Caffe 'Gelateria dei Combattenti exists since 1924 and has expanded its activities' with Enoteca Corsi of fine wines and more. They are located at the entrance San Giovanni gate, on the left side is the bar and on the right side the enoteca. Here you can 'taste the real and traditional gelato. The ice cream of Ricciarello of Siena flavour is one of the many specialties ' In addition to traditional flavours, you can find the ice cream of the pistils of saffron, a local produce of San Gimignano. Bar Combattenti also makes light meals such as bruschette, pizza, sandwiches, crepes and pasta dishes, as well as a wide selection of cold cuts and Tuscan pecorino cheese, to taste with fine Tuscan wines from its wine cellar, in the rustic tavern.
Located: Via San Giovanni, 124, san Gimignano

Enoteca Corsi
Enoteca Corsi has over 500 labels of wines. You can also find a selection of local products suche as the biscuits Ricciarelli, Panforte, crafts items, colored pasta, grappa, olive oil, flavored oils, and a wide range of truffles.
Located: Via San Giovanni, 124, San Gimignano



Forno Boboli Bakery
The Boboli Bakery was founded in 1909. It is a small artisan bakery that, over the years, has been able to adapt to the innovations and technologies, always keeping the quality and taste for the craft intact.
The Bakery Boboli has been produces many different types of bread, from the typical Tuscan saltless bread to special breads with milk and olives.
Located: Via San Matteo, 94, San Gimignano
Opening times: Monday-Saturday: 6.00- 13.30 and 16.45-17.30, closed on Sunday and Wedneday afternoon
Website: www.panificioboboli.com

Butcher La Buca
"La Buca", is in the main San Giovanni street. It's the best place in San Gimignano for a good  sandwich and sausages. The meat is cut only by knife, while it is produced in a nearby farm. Wild boar fillet is a must, but also the various salamis are to be tried.
Located: Via San Giovanni, 16, San Gimignano
Opening times: Monday-Sunday: 9.00 - 19.00
Website: http://www.labucadimontauto.com/bottega.php

Banks
There are two banks both open from 8.20-13.25 and 14.35-15.55. Both have ATMs
- Banca di Credito Cooperativo di Cambiano located in Via San Giovanni, 3
- Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena located in Piazza della Cisterna 9/10

Petrol station
There is an IP petrol station which also has self-service facilities. It accepts 5, 10, 20 and 50 Euro notes.
Located: Via Dei Fossi, 4

Pharmacy - Farmacia Borsini
Located: Via San Matteo,17, San Gimignano
Opening times: 9.00 -13.00 and  16.30 - 20 Monday to Saturday.
Website: www.farmaciaborsini.it

Leather shop - Pelletteria Maria's
Located: Via San Matteo,80 and Via San Giovanni, 100
Opening: every day from 9.30 - 19.30
Website: www.mariasleather.com


 
Echoes Bruschetteria
Take your time to try this wonderful bruschetteria. A pleasant and friendly place to eat, it's a short walk away from the crowded and pricey tourist streets. You are assured of a very warm welcome by the owner who takes a great pride in his food and service. It has an outstanding array of bruchettas, with a wide range of beer and wine.
Located: Vicolo Mainardi 10
Opening times: Monday-Sunday: 11.30-15.30 and 18.00-23.00, closed on Tuesday afternoon


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