SAN GIMIGNANO: the town of the Towers protected by UNESCO

As you crest the nearby hills, the 14 towers of this walled town rise up like a medieval Manhattan. Originally an Etruscan village, the settlement was named after the bishop of Modena, San Gimignano, who is said to have saved the city from Attila the Hun. It became a comune (local government) in 1199, prospering in part because of its location on the Via Francigena. Building a tower taller than their neighbours' (there were originally 72) became a popular way for prominent families to flaunt their power and wealth. In 1348 plague wiped out much of the population and weakened the local economy, leading to the town's submission to Florence in 1353. Today, not even the plague would deter the swarms of summer day-trippers, who are lured by a palpable sense of history, intact medieval streetscapes and enchanting rural setting. They would also never leave this town without tasting its special white wine, the Vernaccia.

The Vernaccia of San Gimignano.
The name "Vernaccia" is applied to several different Italian grapes, such as the Sardinian grape used in Vernaccia di Oristano. Ampelographers have determined that the variety grown in San Gimignano is different and distinct from the other Italian Vernaccias and is probably not related.
In San Gimignano, the Vernaccia grapes planted in sandstone based vineyards tend to produce a very special kind of Vernaccia: dry with crisp acidity and a slightly bitter finish.
According to DOC regulations, Vernaccia di San Gimigniano must contain 90% Vernaccia, with up to 10% other nonaromatic approved white varieties. In order to meet "riserva" status, aging must be a minimum of twelve months, including four months in bottle.


RECOMMENDED RESTAURANT and HOTEL
La Mormoraia offers the possibility to sleep and
eat great traditional meals while enjoying he view
of San Gimignano, just a few miles away.
Address: Localita' S.Andrea in San Gimignano. 
Tel. 0577-940096

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