Visit San Gimignano in Tuscany

Today we will speak of San Gimignano in Tuscany, a beautiful medieval town that is a few kilometers to our villa for rent.
San Gimignano is one of the most famous cities in Tuscany both for its medieval appearance – fifteen of its original seventy-two towers remain – and for the vast number of art works contained in its churches, palaces and museums. Entirely enclosed within its walls, its main monuments are found along the straight road of the Via Francigena and around the Piazza del Duomo, which is the highest point of the city.
THE COLLEGIATA (cathedral) has a simple original Romanesque façade although it was enlarged in 1460 by Giuliano da Maiano. Inside, the magnificent CHAPEL OF SANTA FINA, a masterpiece of Tuscan Renaissance architecture by Benedetto and Giuliano da Maiano, s decorated with important frescos by Ghirlandaio illustrating stories from the life of Santa Fina, patron saint of San Gimignano.
The Piazza del Duomo is also bordered by the PIAZZA DEL POPOLO, built in the late 13th century, together with the Torre Grossa. This building is still used for the city offices and since 1852 has also housed the MUSEO CIVICO in its upper rooms, reached through a spacious courtyard. In the Sala di Dante, so-named because the illustrious poet gave a speech here in 1300 in defense of the Guelph cause, there is a famous fresco by Lippo Memmi depicting the Maestà (1317) which is very similar to the one painted by Simone Martini in Siena’s Palazzo pubblico. The adjacent picture gallery has a rich collection of paintings by various artists, both Sienese and Florentine. In the adjoining Camera del Podestà, you can admire an unique secular fresco cycle illustrating the ups and downs of a young man’s initiations into the mysteries of love by Memmo di Filippuccio (early 14th century).
The CHURCH OF SANT’AGOSTINO stands on the piazza of the same name. It has a simple exterior with a single portal and Gothic windows along the sides. On the high altar is an altarpiece depicting the Coronation of the Virgin with Saints and Musician Angels, a masterpiece by Piero Pollaiolo (1483), although the most striking work is the fresco cycle illustrating the Life of St Augustine, painted by Benozzo Gozzoli and his assistants between 1464 and 1465. Paticularly noteworthy in the environs of San Gimignano is the CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA A CELLOLE, in a glorious setting and decorated with some beautiful sculptures.