San Gimignano

San Gimignano for the characteristic medieval architecture of his historic center has been declared by UNESCO World Heritage site. The site of San Gimignano, despite some nineteenth and twentieth century restorations, it is mostly intact in the fourteenth-century two-aspect and is one of the best examples in Europe of urban organization of themiddle ages .

San Gimignano is especially famous for its medieval towers that still stand out on his views, that have earned him the nickname "Manhattan of the middle ages. Of the 72 towers and tower-houses, existing in the heyday of the municipality, there are 16 other beheaded visible in the urban fabric. The oldest is the Rognosa Tower was built in the early 13th century 1200. The highest is the Torre del Podestà, also known as the Torre Grossa, 54 meters.

Two are the most important religious buildings:

- Collegiate Church: also called commonly the Cathedral, completed in 1148 is considered one of the finest examples of Tuscan Romanesque. Built on three aisles, the walls are entirely frescoed. Among the works valuable fresco: Saint Sebastian by Benozzo Gozzoli and stories of St. Fina by Domenico Ghirlandaio in Cappella di Santa Fina;

- St Augustine's Church: this church contains many frescoes, particularly the chapel of St Bartolo di Benedetto da Maiano, the Stories from the life of Saint Augustine by Benozzo Gozzoli, and other remains of frescoes and canvases by various authors.

Among the buildings the Palazzo comunale or Palazzo nuovo del Podestà is the master: housed in ancient times, the podestà, is currently home to the Civic Museum and the art gallery, containing masterpieces by artists such as Pinturicchio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippino Lippi, Domenico di Michelino, Pier Francesco Fiorentino, etc. Moreover, inside the Town Hall, you can visit the sala di Dante with the Majesty of Lippo Memmi and access the Torre Grossa, 54 m high and dating.

Piazza della cisterna
Veduta di San Gimignano

The core of Monteriggioni is a small borgo fortified in the Siena area.

The diameter of the Castle is 172 metres, surrounded by massive walls of the form elliptic well 2 metres thick, interspersed with 15 towers and two doors, that surrounds a hill called Mount Wing. The towers, today, rising above the wall to 6.5 metres, 4 x 6 metres thick, and are visible only 11: the other four were reduced to the level of the walls (were "pricked out"). Above the walls runs a walkway that runs along the entire perimeter.

The Porta Franca or Romea (geared towards Siena) rises at the base of a tower while the toward Florence, door below, opens into the walls and alongside one of the towers of the fortified perimeter.

Entering through the Porta Franca or Romea, originally equipped with a heavy cancelled which was lowered in case of danger, you log on to Piazza Roma, the heart of the village. The square was originally "dirt road", that is, without paving, but was paved in the 1970s with stone from the quarries of Rosia. Even today, the square is surrounded by gardens and orchards, so important in the past to allow the survival of the population even in case of siege.

The castle of Monteriggioni was also surrounded by the so-called charcoal kilns or ditches filled with coal that was set fire to repel the assaults.

Veduta di Monteriggioni
piazza Roma