Known as the Manhattan of the Middle Ages because of its 14 imposing towers, San Gimignano is one of the many jewels in Tuscany’s crown. Visit the Duomo di San Gimignano before stopping for a glass of vernaccia at Tenuta Torciano winery – here are the top attractions in the city.
There are many reasons to include this pretty hilltop town on your Tuscan itinerary, not least the ancient frescoes and murals adorning the walls of the churches and cathedrals in the city. Spend a day wandering the quaint winding streets, browsing the many boutiques and sampling the fine food and wine of this prolific region.
This contemporary gallery, housed inside a former cinema, was opened in 1990 by Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo, bringing the very best of the modern art world to this small hilltop town in Tuscany. The idea was to continue the ancient artistic legacy of the town through to the modern day. To that end, this delightful gallery has more than triumphed. 30 years later, and the gallerists have now opened in Paris, Les Moulins, Beijing, Havana, Rome and Sao Paulo.
What finer way to spend a sunny afternoon in Tuscany than checking out instruments of torture and death? A curious mixture of the London Dungeons and Amnesty International, the museum more than delivers on the grisly front while being an ardent advocate of human rights. For the macabre-minded, you can enjoy classic devices such as the iron maiden and the rack, alongside grotesque pieces of lesser-known torture tackle, such as the gruesome heretic’s fork and women’s only spanish spiders. We suggest you delay lunch until after your visit.
This unassuming ceramics workshop, tucked around the back of the Piazza del Duomo, has been run by the husband-and-wife team Franco Balducci and Esther Vogeli for over 30 years. Drop by to watch master ceramicist Balducci at work on the potter’s wheel, while Esther skilfully recreates Tuscan landscapes with bas-relief techniques. Whether you choose sculptural artwork or a charming little clay animal, a piece from Balducci Ceramica is a joy forever.