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Encircled city wall of San Gimignano at dusk

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Visible from the bends of the highway, San Gimignano announces itself from above with its famous towers. Truly a little gem, it is so precious that UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site. So strategic for controlling the valley and offering defense against its enemies, was already inhabited in ancient times. Walking through the Old City means plunging into the Middle Ages and getting a taste of what the city must have been like more than seven hundred years ago. San Gimignano was founded as a small village in the 3rd century BC by the Etruscans. Historical records begin in the 10th century. Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture.

 

'San Gimignano delle belle Torri' is in Tuscany, 56 km south of Florence. It served as an important relay point for pilgrims travelling to or from Rome on the Via Francigena. The patrician families who controlled the town built around 72 tower-houses (some as high as 50 m) as symbols of their wealth and power. Although only 14 have survived, San Gimignano has retained its ancient atmosphere and appearance here on the encircled city walls at the end of the day.

 

San Gimignano is een middeleeuws stadje in de provincie Siena van de Italiaanse regio Toscane. San Gimignano is bekend om zijn dertien torens die het silhouet van de stad domineren. Deze zijn in de 12de en 13e eeuw door rivaliserende rijke families opgetrokken. De torens deden dienst als woning en versterking, maar vooral als prestigeobject. Op haar hoogtepunt had de stad zo'n 70 torens. In de late middeleeuwen was deze stad erg welvarend omwille van diens ligging aan de pelgrimsroute naar Rome. In 1990 is het historische centrum van San Gimignano opgenomen in de lijst van werelderfgoederen van UNESCO. Heerlijke wijn proeven met uitzicht op de glooiende heuvels rondom. Het landschap is fantastisch mooi en de omgeving is er lekker rustig.

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Taken on August 16, 2012