The itinerary in this beautiful city allows the visitor to admire the main monuments of the old town along the ancient Francigena Road, which is still the main street of the entire urban complex. Starting from San Domenico Church, an important treasure trove of art and long-time guardian of the precious relics of St. Catherine of Siena, one of the patrons of the city, the visit proceeds towards Salimbeni Square, headquarters of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Piazza del Campo, scene of the famous annual horse race that Siena celebrates: the Palio. Through the elegant Via di Città and passing in front of the principal noble palaces, the guided tour arrives at Piazza Duomo to admire one of the finest examples of Italian Romanesque-Gothic architecture: the cathedral.
The tour can be integrated with:
A) A visit to the interior of the cathedral and the Cathedral Museum, a repository of many masterpieces, including the famous Majesty by Duccio and sculptures by the great Giovanni Pisano.
B) A visit to the crypt of the cathedral and the baptistry to see the baptismal font and sublime artwork of leading artists of the early Italian Renaissance, including Jacopo della Quercia and Donatello.
C) A visit to the Civic Museum of the Palazzo Pubblico to admire the magnificent Majesty by Simone Martini and the amazing cycle of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti
For alternative routes to discover the Palio and the countless historical and artistic treasures that the city owns, as well as an exploration of the magnificent places surrounding the city center, you can contact me: email@example.com
Ironically called the Manhattan of the Middle Ages, San Gimignano still constitutes a rare example in the world of medieval towered villages and has remained virtually unchanged since the thirteenth century. During the medieval period, the presence of important trades mainly related to thesale of saffron and to the presence of the Via Francigena, still the main thoroughfare of the town, allowed the wealthy local families to erect the numerous tower houses that were the status symbols of the ancient merchant class. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for its characteristic medieval architecture and the beautiful surrounding landscape dotted with vineyards of the famous Vernaccia grape, San Gimignano offers the visitor a real blast from the past. The itinerary of the visit starts from Porta S. Giovanni, and after passing along the ancient route of the Via Francigena, ends at Porta S. Matteo after visiting Piazza della Cisterna, Piazza del Duomo with the Collegiate and the Palazzo del Podestà, the Salvucci towers, the most powerful Ghibelline family of the city, the charming medieval urban fabric and the Church of St. Augustine which houses an important cycle of frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli.
It is also possible to:
A) Go inside the Collegiate, which contains beautiful pieces of art by Lippo and Federico Memmi, Bartolo di Fredi, Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Jacopo della Quercia.
B) Visit the City Museum, which shows numerous important works of the Sienese school from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century.