June in San Gimignano
San Gimignano, in the province of Siena, is a very famous tourist resort in virtue of its artistic beauties, the favourable geografical position and the temperate climate that renders it an ideal destination during all the year.
It is situated on top of a hill from where overlooks the surrounding Val d'Elsa and its altitude favours the presence of a great number of tourists above all during the hotter months when the temperature's values are lower than in the valley.
Why visiting San Gimignano?
The medieval architecture and the towers
San Gimignano is well known for its recognizable medieval architecture and the numerous towers that have a great impact on visitors. Tourists remain fascinated opposite these constructions, evident symbol of the ancient power . At present there are only 13 towers but it seems that in the past they were 72, one for any well off family, that through the tower's edification showed its economic power. Today it's possible to observe how the edification of towers has changed during the centuries, assuming different characteristics. The first towers were marked by small spaces inside (generally 1 metre for 2) with a few openings and a wall thickness of about two meters to ensure cold in summer and warm in winter. From the twelfth century the reference model becomes that of the Pisan towers, with more spaces inside and more openings.
The historical centre of San Gimignano hosts artistic works of great value, amongst which:
- the Collegiata di S. Maria Assunta built in the XII century. It hosts frescos depicting Stories of Old Testament dating back to '300, (expression of the Senese art) made by Barna da Siena, Bartolo di Fredi e Taddeo di Bartolo and frescos dating back to '400, (expression of the art of Florence).
- The Chiesa di S. Agostino, with frescos by Benozzo Bozzoli and where there is even a Coronation by Pollaiolo.
- The Palace of Podestà that preserves a fresco by Sodomia.
- The Piazza della Cisterna triangular-shaped, with terracotta tiles floor and a beautiful well in the centre
The rich wine and food tradition
San Gimignano has a rich wine and food tradition that contributes in a significant way to its tourist success. Amongst its most famous products: the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a white wine produced in a small area of Tuscany, appreciated and exported around the world; the famous Pure Saffron of San Gimignano, cultivated with natural methods, that tastefully enhances the typical dishes of local production. In addition there is also the working hand-made of wild boar sausages and fine cheeses.
San Gimignano: events in June
Ferie delle Messi dei Cavalieri di Santa Fina (ON THE THIRD WEEKEND OF JUNE)
It is a historical manifestation that takes place in the streets and squares of San Gimignano to celebrate the harvest. Groups in costume, coming from different parts of Tuscany, walk through the streets creating a faithful reconstruction of medieval daily life. For the occasion, a large market is set up with stalls and craftsmen at work intent on making the traditional objects of the place in wood, stone, gold, ceramic and fabric. Performances of singers, musicians, acrobats, actors, magicians and fortune tellers are the setting of the event, while during the Sunday the two most awaited appointments take place: the historical parade with knights and militias and the jousting tournament that has like prize the coveted Golden Sword.