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Tuesday, 27 March 2012 12:43
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In this series of blogs we will highlight some of our favourite day trip destinations in Tuscany.


San Gimignano is a small hill-top town in Central Tuscany. It is a tourist magnet, but we love it just the same! Its famous towers (once numbering 72, now only 14 remain), its cobble-stoned streets, its setting surrounded by lush productive land all add up to make this an enchanting day trip destination.....

Like many other enchanting towns in Tuscany, San Gimignano doesn't always feel enchanting when over-crowded with tourists who arrive in busloads. Best to visit early in the morning, or late in the afternoon (allow a half-day to fully explore the town).

If you must visit during the busy period, we recommend you take a respite from the crowds and walk around the outside of the town's walls. This is a delightful way to spend an hour or so, while the crowds abate. Consider staying on for dinner, as the town takes on a magical peace and quiet unimaginable during the day.

What about the towers? The towers - symbols of the power and wealth of the feuding families of San Gimignano - are to be found nowhere else in Tuscany. These towers, along with a series of 14th and 15th century masterpieces of Italian art inside the town's churches, resulted in San Gimignano being listed back in 1990 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can climb the Torre Grossa, the tallest tower, for lovely views of the town and surrounding countryside.

So, where is San Gimignano?

Approximately mid-way between Siena and Florence. If using public transport you will need to catch a train or bus from Siena or Florence to Poggibonsi, then change at Poggibonsi for the bus to San Gimignano. Departures are not always frequent, and can be very busy in peak times. We would recommend a car for convenience and comfort. Parking is outside the walls at San Gimignano and well signposted.

Where to stay?

In the San Gimignano area we recommend our Beautiful Wine and Olive Estate Apartments with a large famous villa of the 16th Century, half way between Florence and Siena. The apartments are situated on the hill with a classic Tuscan panorama of vineyards and olive groves.

These charming and beautifully decorated apartments with pool are an ideal spot to explore the San Gimignano region and the wine region of Chianti in Tuscany - the apartments are virtually equidistant between the two areas. The apartments are in a building separate to the main villa offering privacy and a peaceful holiday. Charming hosts to care for you, this is a lovely place to stay.

Or if you are looking for something very special, stay in our Magnificent Grand Estate Villas with private walking paths, swimming pools and parklands. A place of peace and serenity, the Fourteenth Century buildings have been renovated with great care, beautiful decor and printed silks. Only twenty minutes south of Florence.

Stay tuned for our next day trip destination in Tuscany...