Dog Reviews San Gimignano, Tuscany in Italy
Sometimes you keep the best for last. Sometimes you don’t even know it. That is what happened to us and the discovery of a small town named San Gimignano. With only 2 days left in Florence, we chose to take the train to Poggibonsi where we then took a nice comfy coach bus to San Gimignano. The entire trip takes less than an hour and a half.
Perched on the top of a hill in the middle of the stunning Tuscan countryside this small town is a medieval gem. Once know as “the city of beautiful towers” San Gimignano still has 14 of the original 76 towers that once made this town’s skyline uniquely famous. The towers served as both private fortresses and symbols of wealth to their owners. Today you can just imagine how the city must have looked all those centuries ago.
We had an amazing afternoon. Wondering the tiny streets, that in many ways reminded us of Sienna. We made a wish near the well at the heart of the town in Piazza della Cisterna. We stopped for lunch at a really nice restaurant that had taken the amazing arches of the wall, glassed them in to keep the wind out and offered a unique atmosphere. The pizza was very good and so was the lasagna.
Something else that makes this town stand apart is how much green space there is. Most cities and towns in Tuscany have very little. But San Gimignagno has a large garden within the walls. Complete with fig and olive groves, herbs and in the center a remaining inner watchtower (built 1353) whose view is well worth climbing the steps for.
Up there is the only place within the walls that you can see all 14 towers. It is a fabulous photo opportunity for anyone. We stayed up there and just took in the sight of all the vineyards where wine has been produced for millennia.
Another great climb is the Torre Grossa (15 Euro) in the piazza del Duomo, also in that plaza is the church with the gold stars painted on the ceiling (do not let the plain exterior fool you!). But we skipped those in favor of gelato and walking along the majestic walls and tiny streets that surprise you at every turn with lovely boutiques, spectacular views and a time warp to a world long gone.
In review: The town is very small dog friendly. I was allowed into all the shops – all but the ones selling meats. There are some well appointed shops that sell wild boar and cold cuts and other yummy delicacies and there – a sign clearly indicated that dogs were not permitted inside. Other than that, as a small dog, only the usual Italian restriction: No museums, no towers, no churches. Funny enough that did not stop us one bit from enjoying all that the small town had to offer. Well worth the day trip!