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Around a half hour drive from Florence sits a popular and noteworthy town which always prevails on us to visit. Its really because San Gimignano really stands out among its neighbors for its ancient towers.
Long before skyscraper cities were a thing, the “Medieval Manhattan” was boasting its importance and might as a flourishing city. Luck for tourists today around thirteen towers still stand but thats just a fraction of the forty that once marked the city.
We got here just as the sun rose and it was perfect timing. For travel photos there’s no more magic than early morning light and the shadows cast by these brick and stone monuments.
No tourists were yet in the streets and locals got started opening their shops while retired folks stood in their doorways or pulled up chairs in the shade to start socializing.
There are several main roads which cut through town filled with shops that sell popular boards meat, Tuscan wines, bread products and beautifully painted ceramics that make for one of a kind souvenirs.
The hotels and restaurants can be costlier than other small towns in the vicinity. San Gimignano would be a second tier destination behind places like Siena and Florence, but it gets a lot of attention nonetheless.
It is wonderful city to visit, but we would recommend that you might take advantage of a more authentic small town just five minutes away like Colle di Val d’Elsa. Here you can get all the beauty of a walled Tuscan city without the hoards of tourists.
San Gimignano is a great place to wander around for a few hours taking pictures or shopping. Make it half a day if you wish to have a meal or spend more time in museums, but its best beauty can be found in its streets where the architecture is its greatest treasure.