The reasons why Unesco has declared San Gimignano a “World Heritage Site” become obvious if you visit this pretty, small medieval hill town.
San Gimignano is famous all over the world for its towers, symbol of the economic power of the ancient wealthy families. Today, only 13 towers remain of the 72 standing in the 14th century.
The old city is surrounded by the 13th-century walls and it is accessible by the two gateways “Porta San Giovanni” and “Porta San Matteo”.
San Gimignano is also well known for the saffron, which is cultivated according to organic methods and for the local white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
The guests staying at La Canonica di Cortine can easily reach San Gimignano with a 30-minute drive on scenic routes and, after a visit of the town and a meal in one of the several good restaurants or just an ice cream in an award-winning ice-cream shop, can continue to Monteriggioni a castle standing on a natural hillock, whose slopes are dotted with olives trees and vineyards. Built by the Sienese in 1214–19 as a front line in their wars against Florence, in the Middle Ages, the city was strategically placed as a defensive fortification. One gateway to the city, the “Porta Fiorentina” opens toward Florence to the north, and the other, the “Porta Romana”, faces Rome to the south. The main street within the walls connects the two gates in a roughly straight line. Walking along the top of the castle walls and admiring the breathtaking views on all sides is an unforgettable experience. During the month of July, a charming medieval festival can be a good opportunity to spend a day back in time.