San Gimignano, Tuscan Towers

Under Western Skies

Arguably the most memorable skyline of any city in Italy can’t be claimed by Rome, Milan, Venice or Florence. It belongs to the “Town of Fine Towers,” San Gimignano.


San Gimignano is located approximately halfway between Florence and Siena.


Occupying a prominent hilltop along a major trade and pilgrimage route to Rome, San Gimignano escaped destruction in the 5th Century by Attila the Hun (purportedly thanks to its patron saint and namesake, Saint Germinianus) and prospered through the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The town, with narrow, serpentine streets, is a trove of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.


San Gimignano is most famous for the fortified towers that arose in the 13th and 14th Centuries as warring families took steps to defend themselves during the long conflict between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. The same thing happened in innumerable Italian towns and cities, and at one time there were 72 towers in San Gimignano. While most of the…

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