Thursday, June 8, 2017

San Gimignano

     Before we left Vancouver, everyone told us we had to make sure we went to San Gimignano. So we did.  From google:  San Gimignano is an Italian hill town in Tuscany, southwest of Florence. Encircled by 13th-century walls, its old town centers on Piazza della Cisterna, a triangular square lined with medieval houses. It has a skyline of medieval towers, including the stone Torre Grossa. The Duomo di San Gimignano is a 12th-century church with frescoes by Ghirlandaio in its Santa Fina Chapel.
     For me a highlight was Torre e Casa Campatelli. From the outside it is very unassuming but I would recommend that anyone who visits San Gimignano go through this property first. According to the brochure I picked up, "Located in San Gimignano, Casa Campatelli is an 18th-century building that features one of the town's famous medieval towers. 

a video in the house tells the story of San Gimignano, and why so many towers were built.
As was the case in most European cities and towns, the black plague wiped out a significant percentage of this town's population
Once the residence of a high-ranking family in the 19th and 20th centuries, Casa Campatelli reconstructs, through its furniture, decor, paintings and private momentos, the ambience and history of a traditional Tuscan family and the society of a bygone age, set against the background of 1000 years of history, recounted with sophisticated digital technology that encapsulates the origins of the legend of San Gimignano, giving visitors a deeper insight into the town."
   It is interesting to compare San Gimignano and Siena. While both cater to tourists, San G. has not been so overtaken by tourists, except by those who line up for what is advertised to be the best gelato in the world!  I found it to be a delightful town and thank everyone who insisted we visit!
Here are a few more photos.
We came across a privately funded model of the town showing all the towers which were built by families who wanted to show off....nothing more!
Views of the countryside outside the walls.

Lest you thought it didn't matter whether you went to heaven or hell, this church fresco let you know what you might hell.
One of the best ways to navigate the narrow streets is in these Piaggio pick-up trucks



Margot Paris said...

Michael - wonderful record of your visit to Siena - the flags of each neighbourhood/contrada are so distinctive, and stand out in memory for me too. Love to all the Gellers.

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