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.