Escorted Rail Tours to San Gimignano
Verdant hills and thirteen medieval towers
The striking walled town of San Gimignano took its name in the 10th century, from the bishop St Geminianus, who had defended the first settlement here from Attila's Hun forces. San Gimignano's position amongst an array of fertile hills ensured that the town became rich primarily as a farming community. The thriving town was able to govern itself independently, and in this time many competitive Tuscan families built tall towers here - each a little bit taller than the last one.
The arrival of the Black Death in 1348 put paid to San Gimignano's independence. Having lost much of its population, the town was compelled to look to Florence for protection and governance. As a result, the town developed very little through the next few centuries - meaning that much of its historic core has been preserved to the present day. One of the most famous features about this rural town is that an incredible thirteen of its towers from the Middle Ages have survived, and they now all stand proudly overlooking the hillside as an iconic symbol of the town.