San Gimignano- old village, evolving pronunciation

Yesterday we had the pleasure of touring the charming Medieval town of San Gimignano. Most of us haven’t mastered the pronunciation, so it sounds different every time we say it!  I looked it up: San Gimignano is ”Sahn Gee-mee-NYAH-no.”

SG is a lovely cobblestone and brick town on a hill. Like most Medieval Roman towns, it’s on a hill, surrounded by a thick wall. As a result, SG boasts gorgeous Tuscan views in every direction!

First and foremost, Johannes took us to the best gelato shop in Italy, Gelateria Dondoli. It was delish!

Then, we were lucky enough to be there during the Medieval weekend. Minutes after we walked into the square, drums began pounding. The anticipation grew as the drums got louder. A Midieval parade marched into the square. There was a band, and 8 people carrying flags. The flag carriers put on an impressive show, twirling and throwing the flags in the air.

Next, we walked up the beautiful but non-functioning fortress.  The story goes, Florence annexed the thriving village of San Gimignano. They promptly destroyed the fortress so San Gimignano couldn’t rise against Florence in the future. Then they built a road that bypassed San Gimignano, so that traders no longer stopped there between Pisa and Rome. San Gimignano deteriorated, and many people moved away.

As we walked along, we met a man who has lived in SG for 78 years. He told us the story of the Twin Towers. No one was allowed to build a tower taller than the ruler’s. However, a wealthy merchant built 2 with the exact same diameter. The individuals don’t surpass the tallest tower, but stacked together, they would. Our Italian friend was so hospitable, he even let some students into his yard to take pictures. True Italian hospitality!

After that, we checked out the incredible frescoes in the church.

Quite hungry, we joined the group for lunch. Dr. Buck would be heartbroken if she knew we ate Patè!!

All in all, the frescoes and the incredible views were my favorite parts of San Gimignano. I’m so glad we visited!

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