Posted by: Debra Kolkka | April 14, 2023

San Gimignano revisited

Some towns in Italy are so lovely they need to be visited often. We have friends staying with us so it seemed a good idea to take them to San Gimignano, a 2 hour drive from Bagni di Lucca.

San Gimignano is a walled, medieval town, perched on a hilltop in the Tuscan province of Siena. It is famous for its towers and stunning medieval architecture.  San Gimignano has preserved 14 towers of varying heights. The town is extremely popular with tourists and the streets are usually busy with admiring visitors.

We try to park near the top entrance…go early or miss out.


A walk up the main street reveals lots of shops selling local wine and produce, leather goods, ceramics and other things to entice shoppers.


The streets are also lined with excellent buildings, keep an eye out for details.

The beautiful central piazza is named for the well (cisterno) in the centre…Piazza della Cisterna. It is surrounded by medieval houses, Romanesque and Gothic palazzos. The well dates from 1346. It was renewed in the 20th century, but some of the paving dates from the 13th century.

This is the line for the famous gelato shop on the edge of the piazza. It is worth the wait.

In the adjoining piazza is the Duomo and the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall)

I love this courtyard garden.

The restaurant I wanted to go to, Ristorante Dorando, was not open even though their page said they were and the sign in front of the restaurant suggested that they should be. I really enjoyed my meal there on my last visit and was keen to return.

We did not go hungry. We liked the look of Bistrot Olivieri in the lower part of the town. It was excellent.

Olivieri Bistrot…Via San Matteo 55, San Gimignano. (0577 940790)

There are various viewing points on the edge of the town offering great views of the surrounding countryside.

Last time I went to San Gimignano I stayed the night. It is great, all the day trippers home and you get the town to yourself.

A night in San Gimignano

Sensational San Gimignano


  1. Never disappoints

    • It wasn’t too busy. It is a gorgeous place.

  2. San Gimignano is one of the gorgeous towns that you could visit many times. The food looks delightful. I’m such your visitors loved it.

    • Yes, they did, there is lots to love.

  3. A wonderful town with something to discover every time you visit!

  4. San Gimignano never disappoints & your photos are wonderful. I am sure your visitors enjoyed all the sights & also your lunch choice at Olivieri Bistrot looks superb.

    • I love San Gimignano, especially staying overnight when all the day trippers have gone.

  5. I love your eye for interesting detail, Debra! The dragon torch holder was exquisite!

  6. I love the dragons. I have a small version at our house. It was found in an antique shop in Arezzo.

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