San Gimignano is one of several Renaissance towns in northern Italy with medieval remains. Its towers are unique.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes several hundred properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
- Full name of site: Historic Centre of San Gimignano
- Country: Italy
- Date of Inscription: 1987
- Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 550:
“‘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 feudal atmosphere and appearance. The town also has several masterpieces of 14th- and 15th-century Italian art.”
I was touring several Tuscan cities back in 2007, and wrote this:
“This is a remarkable medieval town as well, complete with a wall around it and souvenir shops inside. It sticks out from the rest of the medieval towns because of the large towers rich people built as a show-off. San Gimignano is also the town in Italy with the most remaining towers.”