San Gimignano

There are lot of very nice villages and small towns to visit in Tuscany. One of the most famous ones is San Gimignano.

The place is known for its numerous towers, fourteen are left. Sometimes it’s referred to as the Manhattan of the Middle Ages. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a good picture of the complete village, so I had to “borrow” this one from Wikipedia. San Gimignano, on the top of a hill is surrounded by a typical Tuscany landscape. The little town has a long history. It sits on the Via Francigena, the way the pilgrims used on their way from Canterbury to Rome and the Vatican, via Calais, Reims, Lausanne, Lucca.... What is especially impressive for a visitor is that all buildings seem to have some hundred years behind them.

The main streets, Via San Matteo and Via San Giovanni, are full of shops and there are four nice piazzas full of bars and restaurants. It’s nice to sit down for a while and enjoy the local wines; San Gimignano is especially known for its very dry white wine, “Vernaccia”.


krystyna said...

Beauty is always in old, historical places. Thanks Peter for this great post!
I wonder how taste "Vernaccia".

Have a wonderful week!

SusuPetal said...

You seem to have had sun during your vacation. That's marvellous.
The rain continues to pour here.

I'd like to sit in that cafe in the bottom picture. Salut!

Ash said...

Wonderful place and images.

Olivier said...

j'aime beaucoup les photos avec les vues sur la vallée. Cela devait être bien sympathique de boire un verre sur la place sous les grands Parasol.

Anonymous said...

I can taste an atmosphere and I have to say, that I would like be there in this moment!
As in the Susupetal`s part of Finland
also in my part has been unusual cold. Now it`s raining and 5 degrees Celsius.
But I am tomorrow again going to see my grandchildren and never mind the weather :))
Happy Thursday to you, Peter!

EMNM said...

I know this town, it´s an amazing place, the medieval New York!.
I took a picture very similar to sleeping cat, the same cat? he is always sleeping? a dissected cat?

hpy said...

That looks very nice and reminds me of one of my too rare visits to Italy. The landscape seems interesting with all thise slopes. It would also be noce to sit down at a table in one of those piazzas, and have a sparkling drink. Italian, of course.

Cergie said...

Ah Peter, une seule photo en soirée et pas de photo à l'aube ! Dur de prendre ses vacances avec ses petits enfants (= grand'children, je suis obligée de traduire moi même mes comments ; par contre wondassisata a fait la version anglaise de son texte pour laquelle elle a trouvé un nouveau souffle)
C'est quoi la version française de Via Francigena ?
Il fait combien d'habitants ce village (little town) ? Il a eu la chance de ne pas subir l'invasion des suédois ni les tremblements de terre à la différence d'Assise pour ce dernier point

Anonymous said...

The tables are where the crowds are. People do love to eat and drink and watch other people. It must have been a real workout climbing up and down those many towers.

Thanks for visiting my Alien photo and also for your visit to my Rain Man's performance.

Anonymous said...

How 'bout you, Leena and me sit and absorb some of that charm! It looks fantastic. I'd never heard of Medieval Manhattan, it really looks like it!

EMNM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EMNM said...

Peter, look my San gimignano´s cat


Not the same cat, maybe his brother :)

03 September 2008 14:10

Thérèse said...

Centuries seem to be part of the landscapes too...
It's beautiful Peter!

alice said...

Ca me plairait bien de pouvoir me retrouver là bas en claquant dans les doigts, là, juste tout de suite! L'Italie, quel délice...

Anonymous said...

thank you Peter forshowing me very nice pictures of the plces I visited last summer;It's really glad to see these places again, especially Sienna that I found marevellous.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking it must be pretty cool to live in such a small but amazing town, and.. maybe the blog's name should change to "Peter's travelogue"...haha

Neva said...

I really need to get out more....some of these are so inspiring....maybe someday I will once again make it to Europe....

Alain said...

Assez chic ce petit village : les cocktails sous les parasols de la piazza ne doivent pas être donnés. Mais, les vacances sont faites pour faire des folies.

Mona said...

these places look like a dreamland! they remind me of the descriptions of places that I read in Classic novels!

Cuckoo said...

Many times I think that I should stop commenting on your blog. :-)

I am writing the same stuff as amazing pictures et all.. The pictures & the places you show are ALWAYS so beautiful. :-)

What I'll do is I'll read your post and be awestruck. No comments now on unless I need to ask you something. :-)


Ming the Merciless said...

Welcome back, Peter.

Looked like you had a wonderful time in Italy. I love the street scenes. They say so much about the lives of people who live there.

Deepak Gopi said...

Back to this beautiful place again :)
enjoyed the blog break?
Good day to you and family :)

Azer Mantessa said...

nice historical smalltown. if i were the pilgrim on the way to rome back then, sure it's a good place to stop. the countryside is so serene.

very nice.

Shionge said...

You must have rejuvenated Peter, nice pics and what a sight :D

claude said...

Hier, M.Benaut me disait que tu faisais de très belles photos. Il a bien raison. Et puis il me disait aussi que ton anglais est excellent.

PeterParis said...

Vernaccia tastes very good, especailly a nice summer afternoon!

To be honest, we had rain one afternoon! :-)


PeterParis said...

En effet!

To see the grandchildren is a nice comfort!

The cat did not seem to move at all. Very relaxed. Used to tourist photographers.

PeterParis said...

A glass of spumante is not bad! (But, between us, champagne is better.)

Via Francigena aussi en français. Environ 7000 habitants.

You are not obliged to climb them all! :-)

PeterParis said...

Sounds like a very good idea!

Unfortunately the link doesn't work!

Yes, you feel a few hundred years back!

PeterParis said...

C'est dommage que de claquer les doigts ne marche pas toujours!

... and I was there two years ago. Maybe we will meet next time?

I will soone finish my "travel blog" and be back in Paris!

PeterParis said...

You should!

Les vacances en Italie peuvent couter!

You MUST visit Europe!

PeterParis said...

I would miss your comments! ... Please ask then some questions!

... of course the number of tourists is also high!

I have some difficulties to leave Italy.

PeterParis said...

Agree, must have been a nice stop also those days!

I feel younger (almost) every day! :-)

Merci à M.Beanut!

Shammickite said...

Is it possible to go to the top of all those towers? I'd love to do that.
And why were all those towers built? Perhaps so they could see enemies coming from a long distance?
It looks lovely, I'd like to spand some time wandering, just looking and learning.

PeterParis said...

Good questions.
Today you can visit some towers in most of these cities.
I guess they were built partially for defence reasons, but it was probably also a question of prestige; who had the highest tower. There were also internal disputes between Guelphs (defending the Papacy - the "church party") and Ghibellines (defending the Holy Roman Empire - the "imperial party")...

di.di said...

so how about your china trip? isit still on? are you going to stop by in KL..