Le Due Torri

The Two Towers

The Towers of San Gimignano and the Historic Center

The history of San Gimignano has ancient origins that delve into the culture of the ancient Romans. In 63 BC, Muzio and Silvio, two young Roman patrician brothers complicit in the conspiracy against Catiline, took refuge in Valdelsa and built two castles: Mucchio and Silvia. San Gimignano takes its name from the Modenese bishop who lived in the 5th century AD and later became a saint. During the invasions of the barbarians led by Attila, he appeared on the city walls, saving it.

In San Gimignano, numerous prehistoric artifacts can be found, but above all, there are many Etruscan traces. They left works such as the sacred area of Pugiano, remains of ancient villages, and tombs discovered within the current historic center. There are also numerous traces of Roman rule, such as the Villa di Chiusi, located near the Fosci stream.

San Gimignano began to develop in the late Middle Ages, becoming one of the main stopping points for those traveling the Francigena, a road established by the Lombards, which, in the High Middle Ages, became the obligatory passage for pilgrims from France heading to Rome. In 1199, the city became a free commune and was then involved in conflicts between the Guelphs, supporters of the Pope, and the Ghibellines, supporters of the Emperor. The city maintained autonomy until 1354 when it came under the hegemony of the Florentine Republic. After experiencing a period of plague and poverty, it became part of the Medici Grand Duchy in the 17th century.

Historic center of San Gimignano: from towers to medieval palaces San Gimignano is located on a hill, 334 meters high, surrounded by 13 towers. It is said that in the 1300s, there were 72 towers, one for each wealthy family in the city. Through the construction of a tower, families displayed their economic power.

In the Medieval period, the tower was a symbol of power, mainly due to the complexity of construction, which required a significant economic investment. Only the most influential families engaged in trade could afford to build a tower. From towers, the city transitioned to the construction of lower houses, later called palaces, and the use of bricks became common.

These changes determined the distinctive architectural features of cities such as Florence, Pisa, Lucca, and Siena. San Gimignano, on the other hand, does not have a true and unique architectural identity but rather a fusion of styles from the cities that influence the village. San Gimignano continues to develop until the 1300s when the city falls under the rule of Florence, and subsequent plagues decimate the population from 13,000 inhabitants to just 3,000.

The grandeur of the palaces and towers then gives way to more functional buildings, and the city experiences a rather modest and gradual development. San Gimignano is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



Choosing to stay in San Gimignano means plunging into a timeless atmosphere, among cobbled streets, beautiful medieval buildings and breathtaking views of the Tuscan countryside. Our staff is at your disposal to make your stay unique and tailor-made for you. We will take care of every detail: from booking the room best suited to your needs, to organizing tours and excursions to discover the wonders of Tuscany.

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