San Gimignano and its surroundings are well worth a visit to enjoy both historical monuments and taste great wines. This town situated on the Via Francigena represents a pleasant stop for pilgrims directed to Rome in the Middle Ages and present visitors looking for ancient medieval towns in Tuscany.
Discover the medieval heart of San Gimignano.
Founded by Etruscans in the III century BC, San Gimignano turned into a fortified town during the Middle Ages, when numerous towers (up to 72!) where erected. If you come from the valley, you will notice the skyline of San Gimignano, dotted with the 13 towers left and palaces dating back to the thirteenth century built by important families to celebrate their power.
San Gimignano enjoyed maximum economical and political glory till the fourteenth century, that’s why you can still admire many historical buildings from the Middle Ages but also new monuments built at the end of the nineteenth century during the Gothic Renovation period.
The city centre being situated on a hill, you will have the chance to take scenic views of the Tuscan landscape, in particular if you have a walking tour along the city walls overlooking the unique panorama of Valle d’Elsa. If you enter the city by one of the gates, the main street will lead you directly to the heart of the medieval San Gimignano. As an example you may start the tour from Porta San Giovanni walking through Via San Giovanni and reach Piazza della Cisterna, the wonderful square dominated by a well, red brick palaces and the impressive Devil’s Tower.
You will find other beautiful point of interests at the adjacent Piazza Duomo: Palazzo Comunale (the City Hall), Palazzo Salvucci, Palazzo Chigi Useppi, Palazzo Vecchio and Torre Rognosa.
If you have an appetite for excellent Italian wines, the tour continues in cellars and wine bars…
Vernaccia di San Giminiano, a unique wine of Tuscany.
Gourmet travellers find San Gimignano to be the perfect place to taste DOC wines – Vernaccia, San Gimignano Rosso and Rosato, Vin Santo, Chianti Colli Senesi – whose grapes come directly from the hundred Tuscan vineyards that you may observe along the way from Florence.
Reach San Gimignano to taste wines praised by artists and poets such as Francesco Redi and Michelangelo Buonarroti. In his L’Aione, Michelangelo describes Vernaccia wine as follows: “It kisses, leaks, bites, pricks, and stings”. Actually, this delicate white wine gained DOCG recognition in 1993 and is characterized by a fruity flavour that will catch your senses.
Much of the wine history and production can be learned at the dedicated Vernaccia Wine Museum located in Villa della Rocca di Montestaffoli on a hilly position overlooking the vineyards. At the Vernaccia Wine Museum you can book a wine tasting workshop and a tour that will help to appreciate the essence of this wine which boasts a production of 9 million bottles per year, sold in Italy and abroad.
A travel to San Gimignano represents a joy for curious eyes and fine palates!
If you want to get to San Gimignano from Emilia Romagna, the best way is to catch a train from Bologna or Pisa directed to Siena, stop at Poggibonsi station, then take the bus to San Gimignano.
© Valentina Grassiccia
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The tour of the Parmesan Reggiano cheese dairy, Balsamic Vinegar farm, the Parma ham and lunch at the organic vineyard was thoroughly enjoyed by our family of 4. Paolo was a gracious and knowledgeable host for the day and provided us with insights to the production of the cheese and balsamic vinegar which was enhanced due to his chemistry background. We would thoroughly recommend this tour to those interested in the specialities produced in the Modena region.
We had a wonderful tour, best part about visiting the Modena region!
The tour was perfect. I think Paolo would be a splendid ambassador for Italy in the EU. He knows how excellent Italian food and eating together can solve many major problems, and can stop aggressive behavior. Not the hunt for more money, but the well being of family and friends counts. Paolo shows us the products of ages of civilization and he did this like an artist. So after the tour we really love Italia more and we'll come back. We will call you Paolo, Thanks!
Following two tours with your guides this week I would like to express my thanks for some wonderful experiences.
Monday we did the tour of cheese making, balsamic and Salami which was very good and the guide Paolo was very knowledgeable.
The truffle hunt tour today was absolutely amazing, the guide Stefano is pure gold and the tour was built with much thought. Our best experience so far, by far.
Looking forward to more tours and fun next time we are in Italy.
The group (and me) was VERY satisfied. We really enjoyed the Parmegiano Regiano which was interesting and we got to buy some delicate and cheap cheese, the same with the balsamico. The Ferrari driving was off course an experience for life. The Winery lunch felt very genuine and the people there was really welcoming and nice people. The genuine feeling there was however the big plus for us.
Paolo was excellent as our guide. He also felt very genuine. He did not talk just for the sake of talking, but when he had something to say he did it in a respectful and nice way. Everyone in the group really liked him.
I wanted to let you know what a great day we had this past Friday on our tour with Jacamo. (Probably not spelling it right) He was very nice and explained everything to us. It sure gives you a new appreciation when you are slicing cheese. 🙂 Our tour ended with him taking us to the vineyard for a tour and lunch and there, Paolo, the owner could not have been more nicer. It was a perfect ending.
Please let Jacamo know what a great job he did and how much we really appreciated it and his knowledge
The website is well structured and we received a prompt answer to all questions. Gabriele supported us with all information we needed and the organization before the trip was excellent.
We had an air conditioned van, which was very relaxing through the whole tour. The first stop was the parmigiano production, which was very impressive and interesting. We could learn and especially see all the different steps and even taste the various aged parmigiano. The second step was the balsamic vinegar tasting. Finally the meat part was interesting in the museum but we hoped that we also could see more about the production and their work, but the tasting was delicious. In overall we had a very informative and well accommodated half day with our guide
It was great experience! We visited Parmesan cheese production, Balsamic vinegar farm, Ham museum and Farmer's lunch. Our guide gave us a detailed explanation, we were very satisfied. An excellent tour for a reasonable price, highly recommended.
Nous sommes une famille de cinq et nous avons adoré notre expérience. Les trois endroits étaient choisis judicieusement. Notre guide était très généreuse et super gentille. Nous recommandons ce tour ( parmesan, vinaigre balsamique et jambon de parme).
My family felt our first trip to Italy must include a tour of a Parmesan Cheese Factory so when I stumbled on this website several months ago I had no idea what I treasure I found! From the moment I submitted a request for the tour, my experience with Emilia Delizia was first rate. Gabriele provided excellent customer service by patiently answering all my questions to guide me through the selection and reservation of our Foodie Delight Tour. Paolo, our driver, was prompt, cordial and knowledgeable about the processes we were observing and the area in general conveying loads of information with his well-developed English speaking skills. Our stop in Modena fell on a Saturday so we were quite fortunate to end up with a private tour which allowed us to have a nice, personal interaction with the people at each site. Everyone was friendly, generous with the tastings and we never felt rushed to move along to the next location. Now that we have returned to the states, my family agrees this tour was a highlight of our 10 day trip. I was really looking forward to this excursion and am glad to report it exceeded my expectations.