Part Four of Four: Travelling Through Tuscany. Click to review earlier parts One (Florence to Monteriggioni) and Two (Monteriggioni to Colle di Val d’Elsa) and part Three (Colle di Val d’Elsa to Volterra).
Say farewell to Colle di Val d’Elsa and head toward San Gimignano, a short 30-minute drive away. This is another walled medieval town, but has a much different feel than Monteriggioni. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, or the Medieval Manhattan, this town’s skyline is incredibly impressive.
The best way to see the skyline is to park on the South side of the city, in the parking lot marked ‘3’. From here you can take a much quieter, and less travelled way into the town while gawking at the above view.
Filled with excellent examples of Romanesque, medieval and Gothic architecture, the city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But what makes this city unique and incredibly memorable are their 14 preserved towers. These towers were originally built as a display of wealth from the city’s merchant elite. The more, and higher, towers you had, the wealthier you appeared.
There are many options for lunch in this city, but it’s nice to just grab a slice and people watch in Piazza della Cisterna. The perfect place to get the perfect slice is RiccaPizza. This pizza shop is a literal hole in the wall, so get in line and snap up a little steaming slice of pizza heaven.
Next door was one of my favourite shops – Uashmama. Their original merchandise totally stands out in comparison against Tuscany’s traditional ceramic, cheese and wine-focused gift stores.
Saying goodbye to the rolling Tuscan hills is not easy, but made easier knowing you are now heading back to Florence. This drive will take you under 1.5 hours.
Looking for the perfect place to eat in Florence to round out your trip? My favourite restaurant is from Acqua Al 2. Order the blueberry steak and don’t skip the tiramisu. Make a reservation and thank me later.