Thursday's Child: San Gimignano, Italy

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Although we often plan our trips around big cities or spectacular sights, sometimes it’s the small villages that capture our hearts.  This month I’ll be writing about four of them that we’ll never forget.


Tuscany is full of beautiful towns, but none are lovelier than San Gimignano.  This medieval village has been recognized by UNESCO for its towers.  Fourteen still remain, but at its peak of power (in the 13th and 14th centuries), over seventy towers dominated the skyline.  San Gimignano is set on a hill, and views of the countryside are breathtaking. It’s worth a visit just to watch the sunset.  Listening to the church bells tolling in the background as the sun faded behind the hills and rolling fields is one of the loveliest moments I’ve experienced.

We deliberately stayed just outside the town when we visited.  Because of its beauty, it’s an enormously popular day trip from Florence and other Tuscan towns, and tiny villages can quickly be overwhelmed by big groups.  So we enjoyed our Tuscan days elsewhere, and came back to San Gimignano in the evenings when it was practically deserted and we could enjoy the golden buildings and the sunset in peace.



28 comments:

yummychunklet said...

Oh, I so want to travel to Italy. This place looks fantastic!

Kayte said...

Matt and I are looking at this (he and Mark were there two years ago and loved it, too). He said that it is so crowded with tourists and that they, too, stayed long after the tourists left as they were on their way from Florence to Venice. He loved looking at your pictures and bringing back the memories and I just loved looking at your pictures and thinking of my guys there. You are such fun!

Rita said...

I learned so much today; you are so right about finding treasures in small villages and towns.
Rita

Barbara Kloss said...

Eek! I'm so excited you posted this because I'm going there in September! No I'm even more excited :D

Valerie said...

Lovely. That sunset photo beats anything seen from a beach. Medieval architecture has always fascinated me.

Jess said...

It looks lovely! This is one of my favorite blogs because it satisfies my travel fix. When we actually get to a point where we take a big vacation, you can bet I'll be referencing your blog for locations :)

justine said...

My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Italy, biking through Umbria. I remember many small towns like the one you describe, and I hope we go back some day! Thanks for reminding me! :)

allieksmith said...

I always think about traveling to big cities.. and when I go to smaller towns, they are way better (most of the time) and have a lot of personality.

Great post & beautiful pictures :)

Joanne said...

What a sense of time there is in an old town like this one. Just looking at those old towers really turns back the clock. What a beautiful essence.

The Golden Eagle said...

Those are amazing pictures!

Claudia said...

It's on my list. You just revved up the excitement. I love the small towns. Often the sites are in cities but the flavor and culture remain in the villages.

LDH said...

Good thinking to enjoy this sweet village without the crowds. Beautiful sunset!

Velva said...

All you have to do is utter Italy, and I am there with you. As always, beautiful photographs.

Happy travels.
Velva

Lizzy said...

We were in San Gimignano last summer...so this brings back fabulous memories of wandering through the lovely streets, eating gelato, and exploring the bell tower. Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos!

cookingmisadventures said...

So jealous! Italy is our dream vacation, and little towns are always the best. Thanks for a great suggestion for whenever we make it over there. ~Courtney

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

Oh, glory.

Really, I must say, the little towns really do have it over there. It's something about the fact that they're beautiful and they hold something unexpected that make them so magical. Thank you for sharing this lovely little sight with us!

Julie said...

How lovely! Italy is on my bucket list. Especially Tuscany. Thanks for sharing with us!!!

jillbert said...

Lovely! We can only imagine how beautiful it looked with 70 towers.

Belinda said...

These photos are stunning...makes me want to hop on a plane!!

Carol said...

Stunning place, such gorgeous shots, I can only imagine how wonderful it is just being there!

Raina said...

Sounds wonderful! Watching that sunset overlooking the town with the church bells in the distance must have been amazing:)

Medeia Sharif said...

These pictures are breathtaking. I don't blame you for avoiding the crowds.

Have a great weekend.

julie said...

I really need to get back to Italy and enjoy it as an adult. I spent a lot of time there when I studied abroad in college, but I just didn't appreciate it the way I should have. One of these days. :) Thanks for sharing your experience!

comfortablydomestic.com said...

Ah, Tuscany. Sigh. Number 1 on my list of places to go when the kids are old enough. So beautiful. :)

Gloria said...

Look absolutely beautiful! gloria

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, San Gim! You're so right about the peace of the evenings. I stayed there with a lovely old Italian lady who didn't speak a word of English. Each day she'd press oranges into our hands and send us off to explore. It was just breathtakingly beautiful.

Deniz Bevan said...

Oohh... *sound of me being jealous* I haven't been to Italy yet. Anywhere in Italy would be exciting at this point!

Sue said...

I have always wanted to go to Italy, but now even more so! :)

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