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Exploring the towers of power

  • Exploring the towers of power

    The tower-studded skyline is one of the most spectacular sights in Tuscany. In its heyday, the city had a total of 72 towers, only 14 of which remain. Tower-houses were castle-residences serving as both warehouses and fortresses. These were self-sufficient enclaves symbolising the wealth of the feudal nobles or prosperous merchants and their scorn for civil authority. The arrival of the Black Death in 1348 put an end to these towers of power. It also put an end to prosperity in San Gimig¬nano until the 20th century. The city faded, compounded by a lack of political autonomy as it fell under Florentine control. In short, San Gimignano languished as an economic backwater, by¬passed by the Renaissance – for which we are eternally grateful.

    The remaining towers are concentrated around the Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Cisterna, which is teeming with tourists all year round. The tall defensive towers dominate the two main squares at the highest point of the town and doubled as status symbols, to flaunt the owners’ wealth and social standing. An additional theory holds that the towers were also linked to the textile trade, which helped make San Gimignano rich. As there was little room at ground level, some towers may have been built to house valuable dyed fabrics. However, the consensus is that these imperious towers began as defensive works but swiftly became status symbols, much like a Manhattanite skyscraper today.

    Address: Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Cisterna
    San Gimignano
    Tel: 0577 940008
    Web: www.visitsangimignano.com

Experience an official tuscany tour with

Palio Tour

To say you know a place means to know its traditions. In Siena, it's all about the Palio, the centuries-old traditions formed around a horse race that takes place twice a year, in Piazza del Campo. Taking part in this 1-hour tour, you will get a chance to discover the history and the tradition behind this important horse race. You will visit one of the 17 districts (Contrade) and the guide will show you the district's fountain, where children are baptized. After that you will have exclusive guided tour of the Contrada's museum, where the ‘Standards’, the banners given to the winning Contrada, and the traditional medieval costumes of the Contrada's members are exhibited.

from $19.48

Shore Excursion to Florence with Wine Tasting from Livorno

9-hour tour 
Round trip transportation from/to the port/ship
Comfortable air conditioning minivan
Professional tour guide-driver
English speaking driver
Florence highlights
Visit of a Winery in the Chianti Region
Wine Tasting and Light Lunch
Free wi-fi on board
Free water on board

from $1,529.86

Tuscany Motorcycle Tour - Cities of Tuscany

Discover the main cities of Tuscany with this motorcycle tour! This tour is a MUST if it is your first time in Tuscany. In 2 days we will be able to see all the main cities of Tuscany (obviously Florence is excluded as it is our departure and arrival spot). Between them, we will enjoy the wonderful landscapes and exciting roads of this region. We will visit the born-place of Leonardo, Vinci, the beautiful Lucca, the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, the old Etruscan town of Volterra, the magnificent San Gimignano (aka the medieval Manhattan for it’s towers), the historical Siena and Arezzo, the city where Life Is Beautiful was shot.
2 days of touring full of culture, new discovers, nice roads and great food, what else you can ask for?

from $571.84

Pisa, Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti and Monteriggioni Small-Group Tuscany Day Trip

Spend a day discovering Tuscany’s unspoiled hill towns, cities and countryside on a day trip from Florence! The breathtaking area is home to Siena, Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, Pisa and the wine region of Chianti — all sites visited on the tour. Enjoy walking tours of each town, and admire architectural gems such as Siena Duomo. After lunch and a wine tasting at a Chianti estate, spend the afternoon seeing two UNESCO World Heritage sites: San Gimignano Old Town and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Numbers are limited to eight on this small-group tour, ensuring a personalized experience.

from $216.59
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