“Collect moments, not things”
How San Gimignano Experience works
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St Gimignano: Historical notes
St Gimignano stands on a place that was certainly inhabited by the Etruscans, at least from the third century BC.
In the twelfth century it had its economic splendor thanks above all to the Via Francigena and in 1199 the town gained its municipal independence from the bishops of Volterra. The period of greatest economic splendor dates back to the 13th century, which was based above all on the trade of saffron, sold in Italy and abroad, and on financial speculation. The solid economy allowed the creation of an urban aristocratic class, which expressed its political and social supremacy in the construction of the towers: in the fourteenth century there were 72 towers
The fourteenth century was a century of crisis that did not spare St Gimignano: troubled by internal struggles, it was heavily hit by the black plague and famine of 1348, which decimated the population.
The decline and marginalization of the city in the following centuries were the conditions that allowed the extraordinary crystallization of its medieval aspect.
For the characteristic medieval architecture of its historic center it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The site of St Gimignano is mostly intact in its thirteenth-fourteenth century aspect and is one of the best examples in Europe of urban organization of the municipal age. see more
St Gimignano: Vernaccia Wine
One more reason to visit St Gimignano is given by Vernaccia. Vernaccia di St Gimignano is a white wine, produced only in the San Gimignano vineyards. This wine has its roots in very distant times, around 1200 AD. At the end of the thirteenth century Vernaccia was already a fine wine, present on the best tables of the nobles of the time. Dante Alighieri himself in his Divina Commedia, wandering among the gluttons of Purgatory, meets Pope Martino IV guilty of having been won too often by the desire of Vernaccia (Purg. XXIV, 19-24)
A lucid judgment comes to our days through “On the nature of wines and the Travels of Paulo III“, in which we read that the Pope’s personal bottler, in the order letter of 80 flasks to the Municipality of St Gimignano, regretted his insufficient production: “… it is a perfect drink for gentlemen and it is a great pity that this place does not make much of it …”
In 1468 Vernaccia went to cheer the guests at the Medici-Rucellai wedding banquet, then Lorenzo il Magnifico‘s meals documented by the continuous written requests he made to the Municipality of San Gimignano. Choose from the offers of St Gimignano winery wine tasting and book online directly with the owners of the wineries.