I am on my way to explore the Tuscan countryside, driving from Florence to Siena, the town I’ll use as home-base for the next couple of days to wander around the scenic routes of the area.
Halfway between the two, the small village of San Gimignano seems to be the perfect place for stopping and having a look around. It was here, driving the back roads that lead to one of the town’s entrances, that I had my first contact with the wonderful Tuscan landscape: Amazing rolling hills and never-ending vistas of charming houses surrounded by cypress trees and vineyards.
Perched atop a hill, San Gimignano can be easily seen from the valley around, and the closer I get, the more it compels me. Observed from the distance, the emerging towers of the walled city could perfectly resemble any contemporary cityscape. Unfortunately, only fourteen towers of various heights remain. Back in its glory, the city’s patrician families had built over seventy tower houses as symbols of wealth and power. Still, the astonishing medieval turrets are the elements that help define the village soul, and where it gets the nickname “Town of the Fine Towers.”
Past the gates, inside the walls, the old buildings are neatly preserved. Of course there are souvenir shops, racks with postcards and touristy places around the main arteries as this is a popular destination with visitors, so I strolled the narrow alleyways and backstreets, having a fun day making photos of the houses and the views of the valley.
For prints or licensing information, just click on the photos. That’s all for now; more coming soon.