... Find Your Bed and Breakfast, Guesthouse, Touristhouse in Florence, Tuscany and Umbria ...

tuscany-bedandbreakfast.com

Tuscany-bedandbreakfast.com has selected for you the most suitable accommodations in Tuscany and Umbria with the aim to satisfy each idea of holiday stay in these wonderful regions of central Italy.

Last Minute

Touristic itinerary

Tuscany-bedandbreakfast.com has selected for you the most suitable accommodations in Tuscany and Umbria with the aim to satisfy each idea of holiday stay in these wonderful regions of central Italy.

Touristic Routes in Tuscany

vebSan Gimignano: Fortress and Town Walls [1]
The medieval village of San Gimignano rises on a hill 56 km south of Florence. It can be easily reached following the Florence-Siena highway until the exit 'Poggibonsi Nord', from here starts the indications that lead to us under the town walls.

From every angle of the town of San Gimignano the appearance is medieval: road, public square, civil, religious or military constructions. A visitor that for the first time walks into an alley of stone or bricks would believe that they have been cast back in time to a village crystallized in the 14th century. In this page I will only illustrate the history of this place through its fortifications.

Situated on a hill of 324 meters, at the watershed between the Elsa and the Era Valleys, earth of ancient settlements with archeological discoveries span from those of the ancient Etruscan period to the Late Roman Imperial Age, important center on the Roman road Clodia first and of the Road Francigena (as testified by Sigerico of Canterbury 990-994), San Gimignano always served a major role in the history of this area. Since its ancient history San Gimignano was under the jurisdiction of the nearby and powerful city of Volterra and was first under the control of the Bishops of that same city. In the Middle Ages, taking advantage of the wealth that arrived in the city from the Francigena and because of its position at the borders between Siena and Florence, together with the political weakening of Volterra, the zone of the Val d' Elsa was an ideal theater for the development of local autonomy. In San Gimignano the economy of the merchants grew into a powerful force that led to the emergence of a great city.

The first nucleus of the city was located on the 'Poggio della Torre' (Tower Hill) - where the ancient residence of the Bishop of Volterra rose - and on the 'Poggio di Montestaffoli', where a Rocca was later constructed. In the year 998 the suburbs were encircled with the first walled enclosure. The war against Volterra began in the 1130 and approximately twenty years after San Gimignano was virtually independent, allied with Florence against the neighbors of Poggibonsi and Colle Val D'Elsa. In 1207 the new town-walls (today in still in part recognizable in the city center) were built incorporating the villages of S.Matteo and S.Giovanni. Three gates of these town-walls still remain: to north the 'Arco Di Goro', to east the magnificent 'Arco de' Becci' still equipped with machicolation and to the west the arches in stone of S.Matteo.