The tour starts at Porta San Giovanni, the main gate at the bottom end of town, here you will meet your guide and begin your tour by walking up-hill along the medieval Francigena pilgrim road. After you pass a 12th century pilgrim shelter built by the knights of Malta, learn off your guide about the way in which the wealthy merchants of town fortified their homes with towers, that later became the standard for most medieval centres. Continue down a side street that opens up onto a picture perfect panorama of the Tuscan countryside, with its neat rows of vines, olive groves and dense little forests and lines of cypress trees. Arrive to the central Piazza della Cisterna which is named after the large cistern at its centre.
Adjacent to the piazza della Cisterna is the square with the Romanesque Cathedral, the Collegiata di San Gimignano, inside are held marvelous gothic frescos of Sienese art. Beside the church stands the Civic palace with the civic museum and the Torre Grossa, the city’s tallest tower. On request and not included in the price you can decide to enter either or both of these monuments with your guide on tour (not included).
After having visited the towns two main squares, head uphill to the Rocca di Montestaffoli, a hilltop park and olive grove within a 14th century fortress. Here you can enjoy the best views of the town and its picturesque countryside. Continue to the Sant’Agostino church for a visit. This monument has fewer crowds than the others and is also rich with beautiful masterpieces of renaissance art.
For those who are happy to walk a little further and choose to discover some of the town’s more hidden treasures, for example the medieval fountains located at the very bottom of the town. On tour you will also learn about the products and trades of the area.
The tour is ideal for all those interested in learning about the history of town and visiting all the main sites with a local guide. Good for large and small groups alike.