This is one of the most famous medieval hill towns in Tuscany, surrounded by 13th century walls, and it is only 20 minutes drives from Castello del Nero.
San Gimignano is charming, and thousands of visitors agree, so being located very nearby means you can visit early morning or later in the day to avoid the crowds. The triangular Piazza della Cisterna is a monument to medieval architecture, with its soaring verticality and sparse defensive facades.
The skyline is distinctive for the numerous tall towers, the town is known as the Manhattan of the middle ages. You can climb the 218 steps to the top of the Palazzo Comunale for a fabulous view, otherwise browse the beautiful salons filled with 14th century art and frescoes. If you have children with you they might particularly enjoy the augmented reality glasses which superimpose digital medieval characters over the frescoes.
Chianti is renowned for its wine and Italy particularly respects the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a crisp light white. The Museo del Vino talks about the production, and of course you can enjoy a glass on the terrace, with views over the city and surrounding countryside.
As well as wine San Gimignano is renowned for saffron farming which is a painstaking process, all is organic and harvests are at dawn when the flowers are still closed. It can take 150,000 flowers to produce only one kilo of spice, hence its high value.
There are many museums and Collegiata, San Gimignano’s church, has some outstanding Renaissance frescos, but the labyrinth of charming cobbled streets are simply delightful to stroll through all morning.
To refresh the gelateria on Piazza della Cisterna is unmissable. Sergio is a master of creativity and world famous for his original flavour combinations, frequently inspired by local produce. Try a scoop of saffron and pine nuts, pink grapefruit and sparkling wine, raspberry and rosemary or blackberries and lavender.