Siena has the advantage of a geographical position that allows tourists to easily visit the surrounding area, for this reason we suggest some places very close to our town.
The common trait that binds 4 destinations in Tuscany this is the privilege of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the center of Siena, of course, Pienza, Val d’Orcia, (if you want to know more about it, read our post Visit Val d’Orcia), and San Gimignano.
What are the must see in the town of towers? First of all, we recommend you to admire its 16 remaining towers (in the past were 72), among which stands out the Torre Grossa, the highest tower, located in piazza Duomo, next to the Palazzo del Podestà.
Credits photo: Palazzo del Podestà I, Sailko, via Wikimedia Commons
The ideal route starts here, since inside the Palace there is the Civic Museum, at the upper floors of the building.
The works of art are not only those within the halls, but also the courtyard, decorated with frescoes and sculpted coats of arms, that introduces us in a really suggestive atmosphere.
Among the artists on display in the halls we mention Coppo di Marcovaldo, Lippo Memmi, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Il Sodoma, Pinturicchio and Azzo di Masetto, artists who were part of the Florentine and Sienese school of art.
One of the rooms of the museum is named after Dante, who visited San Gimignano in 1300. The other rooms are the Gallery, the Sala delle Adunanze segrete and Podesta’s Room.
The most representative church is the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, also known as Duomo, built in the XI century in Romanesque style and featured a facade that has little ornaments which contrasts with the walls and the interior arches mainly frescoed by Lippo Memmi and Bartolo di Fredi.
The church has been restored as a result of damage sustained during the World War II.
Credits photo: Collegiata By MarkusMark (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In San Gimignano, however, there isn’t only the medieval art, but also prestigious photography exhibitions, such as the event dedicated to Robert Capa and his photos Italy in 1943 and 1944, currently at the Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery “Raffaele De Grada”, located in via Folgore 11.
In a city so tied to tradition and so faithful to its history, the Ferie delle Messi celebration is a very important annual event, a festival which takes place every third weekend of June to honor of the fertility of the land.
Today the celebration is organized by the association “I Cavalieri di Santa Fina” and consists of a historical parade in medieval costume and in a series of challenges between the contrada of the town, culminating in the Giostra dei Bastioni.
The Ferie delle Messi is a good reason to visit San Gimignano in June, but in any case this town got a charm that never goes out of fashion and remains a major attraction in the province of Siena.
Credits preview photo: Piazza della Cisterna By Luca Aless (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons