ITALY: San Gimignano, Tuscany - Day Six
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Day Six
With its 14 towers,
San Gimignano is
sometimes called the
Italian Manhattan but
with a slight
difference: its 72
towers are around
800 years old.
There use to be more, but due to unstable
foundations most of them have tipped over.
When you look at them for the first time you would think that they
were built for some great purpose, or maybe they served as a
defensive system, or maybe they were used as some medieval
scientific way to store food but the simple truth is that they were
nothing more than a fashion statement. The richer you were the
bigger tower you had. And since people were building their towers
taller and taller, the city elders put a stop to that and limited the
height to 51 m. Well, witty Italian "showoffs" found a way around this:
if you can't build the tallest tower in town, you start building twin
towers!
With a rock wall surrounding the city and several arched gates, San Gimignano is a great example of a Tuscan hill town
and is also considered to be one of the best preserved medieval towns in Italy. We walked the city streets, listened to street
musicians, had a nice dinner on a terrace that offered a view of the Tuscan landscape lit by the setting sun.