Situated close to our chianti vacation villa is San Gimignano. Surrounded by Sienese countryside, the small, fortified city is a must see for Tuscany aficionados due to its rich historic, artistic, culinarily
and wine culture.
With its perfectly preserved 3rd century city centre and unique sky dominating towers, the settlement has been nicknamed the Medieval Manhattan. Despite only 14 remaining out of the original 72, the medieval spirit still remains strong and continues to mesmerise its
Ever since 1990 the city has been a proud UNESCO World Heritage Site: “A masterpiece of human creative genius. It stands as testimony of an important step in human history, as an exceptional example of a past civilization’s skill both landscaped and architecturally”.
On top of its beautiful sites and historic vistas, San Ginignano offers many other unique activities. We have handpicked five must that one will be sorry to miss.
1# Truffle Hunting
One of the most original experiences has to be the traditional truffle hunt. This is because the surrounding countryside is famous for its harvest of this refined and precious ingredient which can give that extra “umph” to many dishes. Guided by an expert truffle hunter and his faithful hound, you’ll immerse yourselves in nature, learning the different characteristics of each truffle species. After the hunt you will be able to rest with an equally interesting and delicious truffle tasting session. Hunting season goes from early March to late December but the best period is between the months of October and November.
2# Travelling through the Via Francigena
Acting as the main pilgrimage path in medieval times, the Via Francigena connected Franc dominated territories to the holy Christian cities: Rome and Jerusalem. In past used as a way to enact penance on oneself, now it acts a way to reconnect with nature. One of the best routs starts form San Gimignano and stretches for 31km, which can be walked in circa 7 hours. After some ups and downs in the Tuscan hills you arrive in Molino d’Aiano. From there the path continues towards Baida a Coneo, Gracciano, and Strove, with its romantic parish church. Finally, you will reach Abbadia a Isola, before reaching the fortified city of Monteriggioni.
3# Vernaccia di San Gimignano Wine Experience
San Gimignano is known for its production of Vernaccia, one of the most renown and appreciated white wines in Italy. It was the first to receive the DOC seal in 1966, later in 1993 receiving the DOCG recognition. A Vernaccia di San Gimignano documentation and degustation centre has been set up in the suggestive Rocca di Montestaffoli, situated in Via della Rocca. Here, you will not only be able to participate in diverse wine tastings guided by expert sommeliers, but also to discover the secular history of the wine through the means of an immersive multimedia tour.
4# Walking the Strada del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Another beautiful experience is walking the Strada del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Definitively one of the most interesting wine journeys in Italy, it serves the purpose of promoting local productions. The wine path will allow you to combine the pleasure of discovering a new territory with that of the wine and culinary products that characterize it. This is because the experience will allow you to taste not only the local wine but also extra virgin olive oil and many other typical products of the province. This will all be accompanied by a visit to the beautiful local village.
5# Hot air balloon flight over San Gimignano
Whilst San Gimignano might to be beautiful from every angle, the best one to view her has to be from the sky. To do so, nothing is better than a breath-taking flight on a hot air balloon. One lifted off you will not only be able to appreciate the imponent might of San Gimignano’s towers but also the vast beauty of the Tuscan landscape, stretching from the countryside to the Apennine mountains. From high up you will also be able to spot a myriad of wild fauna which populates the Tuscan hills. Don’t forget your camera because thanks to the soft gait you will be able to photograph once in lifetime pictures.
If you decide to be our guests, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful panoramas. Surrounded by the Tuscan hills, San Gimignano will be right in front of you.