SAN GIMIGNANO & SIENA
Your driving guide will pick you up at your hotel at 9.30 am. This tour starts with a visit to the amazing medieval village of San Gimignano. Already a powerful community in the 1100, San Gimignano became famous for its daring towers built to symbolize the wealth of the town and of its merchants. Situated along the busy French road that connected the north part of Europe to Rome and the Adriatic sea, the village of San Gimignano profited economically from the constant flow of
goods, textile, wine and safron, that travelled along that medieval “freeway”.
On the way to Siena and off the beaten-path, you will stop at Abbadia a Isola, the Abbey on the Island, which goes back to 1000 A.C. This was the hamlet of Ava, who in 900 A.C., married a warrior from the North and created this island in the middle of a swamp to host a church. On this man-made island is the stunning Romanesque church with well-preserved artifacts.
After a delicious Tuscan lunch in the quaint 12th century fortress of Monteriggioni a Siena, a stronghold of Siena with its 14 watch towers, we will reach the city of Siena, the Gothic dream. Perennial enemy of Florence and cradle of the Ghibelline party, the two cities have seen 300 years of wars, battles with its share of intrigues an betrayals. Siena’s outstanding black and white marble Cathedral and the Baptistery represent the greatness of the city as well as its religious vocation.
The town hall, unique as well is located on the main square Campo, a 12th Century shell shape square. This is where the famous Palio, the medieval horse race, takes place every summer in July and August. No rule is the only rule during this mad bare back horse race where 10 out of the 17 districts of Siena are represented. In the middle of the square crowned by austere palaces and tall prestigious towers, as the crowds sheers, the horse men and the city’s nobles parade dressed in medieval costumes.
Then, within a 50 minutes drive, it is back to Florence.
The tour starts at 9.30 am and finishes approximately at 4.30 pm
In Siena, you are on your own to visit the town as you like. The driving guide will of course give you many tips and lots of background information while you are on your way to the city. If you prefer to have a two-hour guided walk through the city, the cost is 120 Euros extra, paid in cash on the spot.
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