Make Italy Yours

A blog of Italian Culture and Nature

Tag: San Gimignano

From a Tuscan Balcony

Under Western Skies

Recently I posted an article about the historic and picturesque Tuscan town, San Gimignano.

In the article, I described the memorable balcony room we had in the 12th Century Hotel la Cisterna. Sorting through photographs, I missed one The Counselor shot from within the room, looking out over San Gimignano to the surrounding countryside. As much as any photograph from years of seeing the world, I’d choose this one as a representative of the allure, pleasure and — yes — romance of travel. As we know, the days aren’t always so halcyon, the rooms aren’t invariably inviting, sunny and blessed with a balcony view. Sometimes, fortune smiles.


May all your travels be so providential.

© Brad Nixon 2016. Photograph © Marcy Vincent 2016, used by kind permission.

If you missed the full article and its photos of San Gimignano (with this photo now in place), including the interesting coincidence concerning that balcony room, CLICK HERE

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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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