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RovasVoyage to San Gimignano

written by Kovács Ágnes
translated by Denisa Ambrúž 2015-01-26

 

RovasVoyage to San Gimignano

 

     One of the RovasVoyage´s destinations in 2014 was San Gimignano: the city of towers. Some of us were there in 2005 and since then we have been yearning to return to this unique city.

 

    San Gimignano is situated on a hilltop. The medieval Tuscan town is clearly visible from a long distance. The town’s main characteristic is that the residential towers and walls built in the Middle Ages have survived in their perfect condition. This architectural heritage gives an inimitable atmosphere for the city. Although San Gimignano is well known of their special white wine produced of locally grown grapes, I tasted there the best red wine ever. It was a perfect, full bodied, oily, rich and round wine, just as I like it.

     Midday we got a bottle of white and a bottle of red wine too with a sufficient amount of pizza. We sat down on the top step of the cathedral and enjoyed our lunch in such lovely surroundings. Meanwhile we were part of the hustle and bustle life of the city.

     The city itself has Hungarian - specifically Hun – aspects. Not very flattering though: bishop St. Geminianus - after whom the city was named in the 10th century - defended the city from Attila’s Huns’ attack.

San Gimignano’s wealth flourished in the middle ages. In medieval Italy noble families built huge towers to emphasize their prestige. These were primarily residential towers but in many cases also functioned as fortresses. 

In 1348AD the plague completely depopulated the city. After the re-settlement it was only able to reach the second place in Tuscany after Florence. 

     At the same time due to the economic setback the medieval town centre remained almost untouched. While in other cities wars and earthquakes destroyed the buildings, in San Gimignano 13 towers survived. Nowdays these six- and seven hundred years old residential towers and churches are popular tourist destinations. 

 

Photos copyright: Csobády Beáta, Kovács Oszkár, Szabó Ottó  

 


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