San Gimignano, City of Towers

When traveling in Italy one of the most popular areas is Tuscany. If you are traveling in Tuscany be sure to go to San Gimignano, I loved this community. Other Italian cities have had towers in their past but the only place you'll find towers today is in San Gimignano. The 14 towers in this town were built for families to be protected and then to demonstrate their superiority over the neighbors. Who would have the highest tower? This was an ancient “keeping up with the Jones”. The towers, housed the family, and included kitchens, living quarters and of course a fantastic view from this hilltop community. At one point the strongest family in the community decreed that no one could build a tower higher than theirs. (An early example of municipal control over developers?)

When you go to San Gimignano, be sure to take the time to climb to the top of the towers. You will be rewarded with an amazing view not only of the city but also the surrounding rolling pastoral countryside.

After all that clambering around on towers in the hot Tuscan Sun, you'll need to have a break. I suggest finding a shady café and sampling the Vernaccia white wine. This wine has been grown and harvested in the San Gimignano area since the day of Dante.

San Gimignanano