The Two Tuscan Manhattans

333 The Two Tuscan ManhattansThere is no doubt that Tuscany is one of the regions that is most described in books and it’s the most visited one. The main reason for that is the fact that Tuscany (or more precisely Florence) is the cradle of the Renaissance and the Medici left so much beauty to Italy and the whole world. Part of the historic and architectural heritage of the region is the towers that emerge in every Tuscan town and make the landscape of two settlements in Tuscany, in particular – San Gimignano and Lucignano, both situated in the province of Siena.

San Gimignano is a picturesque medieval, walled town in Tuscany (north-central Italy). It’s situated on a hill and it is encircled by three medieval walls. It is accessed through eight town gates (set in the second wall) and all of them date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. There are four main piazze (squares) at the heart of the town, namely – la Piazza Duomo, la Piazza della Cisterna, la Piazza Pecori and la Piazza delle Erbe. The Romanesque and Gothic buildings in the city are the reason why il centro storico (the historic centre) of San Gimignano has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most amazing thing about this tiny walled town is its towers. Principally, the town is often nicknamed as the Town of Fine Towers because it has about 15 well-preserved medieval tower houses. If you climb even only one of them, you will be left breathless by the green views of Tuscany, its vineyards, fields and all of the Mediterranean cypresses arranged like soldiers everywhere. The towers (with their awe-inspiring views from their tops) of that tiny and charming town are like real giants that are well seen from outside the town.

The other town is Lucignano which has three town gates, i.e. towers. The town surrendered and became part of Siena in 1300. In order to “strengthen” that change, new town gates were constructed. They were, actually, towers that were built along the town’s wall. They were three in number. They have been perfectly preserved since that period of time. And which are the town’s three towers? The first one is San Giusto or la porta di sopra (the upper gate). It is situated to the north of the historic centre. The second one is San Giovanni or la porta di sotto (the lower gate) which is to the south. And the last one is the Walled Gate (la porta Murata). Its name shows exactly that it was built in the town’s wall itself and remained as it was till the end of 1500 and nobody knew the reason. The first two gate-towers of the town are open to the public and they amaze with their awesome views to green Tuscany.

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  1. Pingback: Don’t Make Me Angry | Smile...Laugh...Travel...Love...Be yourself...Enjoy Life

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