Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

There are certain types of places for us in the World: places that fail our expectations, others that surpass them, some that disappoint us, and those that end up surprising us in the most unexpected way. For me, the latter has not happened many times, in fact, only a few places have really surprised me, one of them being San Gimignano.

The tiny, medieval, and Tuscan town of San Gimignano certainly surprised me in the most unexpected way. When I started to walk its narrow streets and pass through its passageways, I had no doubt that this place was different and special to me. Of course that there are several amazing Italian towns that look just like San Gimignano, but there is something about this city that made me fall in love with her at first sight.

So here is why I fell in love with San Gimignano, and why you probably will too:

Β The old look and feel

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

Walking through the narrow streets filled with old and original buildings, the feeling of stepping into history is inevitable. Is it just me or old cities are always special and beautiful? Well, for most Europeans stepping into old towns seem to be common, for a Brazilian not so much.

The Romanesque and Gothic buildings of San Gimignano are dated all the way back to the 15th and 16th centuries, and the historic center of the city is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And seriously, what’s not to love in this old town?

The narrow streets

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

If narrow streets fascinate you, here is your place. The entire city is formed with narrow streets, wherever you will go. Each corner will surprise you and invite you for a peek, and it will probably make you stay longer exploring the medieval town until you have walked them all.

The passages

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

What really caught my attention while wandering the little town, were the several passages found in almost every street. Apparently since the streets are so narrow, passages seemed like a good way of interconnecting them. Nowadays, it is a pretty way of exploring the city. I certainly enjoyed crisscrossing them and discovering something special and unique in each one.

The ice cream

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

For those who never heard of San Gimignano, you might as well know that the city claims to have the best gelatos in the World, there is even a Gelato University in town. The two most famous gelateriasΒ are: Gelateria Dondoli and Gelateria del’ Olmo, both located at Piazza della Cisterna. I tried both, and I might have to agree that they are beyond delicious!

The views

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

San Gimignano is located in a hilltop, which means that there are amazing views of the Tuscan region and its vineyards. Look for a nice spot, sit down and sip a Chianti wine watching the sunset. Simply amazing.

The authenticity

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

Some would say that San Gimignano is a tourist trap. I didn’t really see the city in that way. Of course that for being famous in the region and filled with tourists, the locals take advantage of selling anything related to Tuscany, from wine to pasta. However, what I actually saw was an authentic town, where the locals still hang around the main square, and the elderly enjoy the afternoon to gossip and observe the tourists passing by.

The old windows and doors, the cats, the smell of coffee and pasta, and even the clothes hanging from the windows make up for a very authentic Italian town. You just need to see beyond the tourists. And it is still possible to find en empty street every now and then.

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

The vibe

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

Ahhh, the vibe of this town it’s not one I have found in many places. It made me feel different in a very good and special way; it made me feel like my own self – is that even possible? It gave me back a feeling I mostly had in New York, that one of being a part of the world – even if a tiny one. Don’t ask me why, because I have no idea how to explain it, especially because NYC and San Gimignano have nothing to do with each other.

Β Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

The truth is, San Gimignano was simply an unexpected surprise, one that made me think of how many special places are still out there to be discovered by us. We might probably underestimate some, until they surprise us in the most simple and special way.

Why I fell in love with San Gimignano

About Allane

A Brazilian living in Germany. Married to W. mommy to a baby girl and a Golden Retriever. Traveler, writer, aspiring photographer, diver, wine appreciator, Formula 1 fan, avid reader of historical and young adult fictions books. City girl, nature lover, believer of a better world, one little change at a time.

  • Sigh… another time. Looks like I am staying put in Emilia Romagna this time around, and I will have to come back to Italy for at least 2 more trips – the North and Tuscany.

  • Anywhere with views and ice cream is a winner in my book!

    • hahahaha the ice cream is amazing!!
      I hope you visit it sometime, you will love it πŸ˜€

  • Hi Lorri!! Awwnn nice to meet someone else who was also surprised with San Gimignano πŸ˜€
    It is certainly an amazing place and one that I would love to come back to!

  • Thank you so much Liz, I am very happy to know that you liked the post and SG πŸ˜€
    It is definitely worth it to stay longer around the region… Tuscany is very especial!! πŸ˜€

  • πŸ˜€ yes!! I hope you visit it sometime!!

  • Have you been there already?

  • Ohhh you will come soon!!! πŸ˜€ And I hope you include Italy in your itinerary, is a must and you won’t regret πŸ˜€

  • Awnnn thank you Vlad!!
    I hope you goooo… I’m sure you will make amazing shots from these old towns!!
    How have you been doing?

    • I’ve been alright, busy with work though πŸ™ Counting the days to my upcoming Scandinavia trip, haha. How are you?

      • I can imagine πŸ™
        Awnnn soon you will be in Scandinavia, soooo awesome! I can’t wait to know what you thought about it… oh well, I already know you will love it!!
        I am alright too… going to Paris this weekend, and will probably stay in Munich for the summer πŸ˜€

  • Definitely!! Italy is a country where you can stay months there visiting everything… there is sooo much to see. I never get tired of going there πŸ˜€

  • hahaha I am exactly like you… a sucker for old πŸ˜€
    And well… I also love ice cream!
    I hope you get to visit San Gimignano sometime!!

  • Mabel Kwong

    Such a picturesque place. I personally like laneways and narrow lanes, but only if I have a map. If not, I could turn and turn and turn like the curious person that I am and end up lost πŸ˜€ I’m sure if it’s safe, but a lot of the time I wonder if there is someone dodgy around the corner…so I tend to go slow πŸ˜€

    If you have Enzzo with you, I’m sure you won’t feel afraid πŸ˜€

    • hahahaha you wouldn’t have to worry about this in San Gimignano, it’s such a tiny town, and I believe everyone knows each other there πŸ˜€ is veeery safe!!

  • Gin

    The ice cream looks really delicious !! hmm it looks so creamy and refreshing. I could eat one just right now. I’ve never step a foot in italy, but I would love to discover this country and this village looks amazing !

    • ohhhh you need to move Italy to the top of your list… even though your boyfriend doesn’t like Italian food, the country is amazing πŸ˜€ soooo much to see!

  • It looks beautiful! I do love narrow streets and, of course, ice cream so it looks like perfection to me!

  • Yess it is!! I found San Gimignano to be more beautiful than Siena… such a cute place πŸ˜€
    I hope you visit it someday!

  • hahahaha oh my! My Italy bucket list is also veeery long hahaha πŸ˜€

  • Happy that you liked it πŸ˜€ <3
    Next time in the region don't miss it, it's a wonderful place!! πŸ˜€

  • Really? I have never been there, now I want to see it πŸ˜€

  • hahaha πŸ˜€ I hope you visit it someday Clara!

  • Totally worth the visit Cathy! I hope you visit it sometime πŸ˜€
    hahaha me neither!

  • I just read your post!! I love exploring small towns… Europe is awesome πŸ˜€ and of course, travel is the best!

  • hahahaha probably not. There are many narrow passages there πŸ˜€

  • I love it too πŸ˜€ <3

  • Thank you Megan!! I am happy to know that you like it πŸ˜€ <3 It is an amazing place!

  • hahaha I am happy to keep making you want to travel πŸ˜€

  • Kathleen (Kat)

    I really like the first photo…and yeah, the Italians are used to see these old buildings in their backyard, but for me, it’s so picturesque and quaint…

    • hahaha yes they are πŸ˜€
      for me too!! I love it and can never get tired of them!!

  • Hi Sabrina πŸ˜€
    hahaha a tongue twister, that’s a good one.
    SG is a very pretty place, I hope you visit it sometime!

  • Me too, there are many Italian towns I haven’t seen and would love to visit. My Italian bucket list is very long πŸ˜€

  • hahaha the ice cream is heaven πŸ˜€

  • Ohhh Tuscany would be the perfect region to take Monkey to explore with you! It’s amazing!

  • Awnnn glad to know that Sarah… I guess my intention worked πŸ˜€ <3

  • Awnnn how lovely to have spent your honeymoon there <3 what a wonderful choice!!

  • hahaha exactly!! That’s basically what I did… plus taking pictures from everything πŸ˜€

  • Yes!! I also can never get tired of them <3
    Each one has its special things… and the Italian ones are my favourite πŸ˜€

  • This town is amazing, I really hope you visit it sometime πŸ˜€

  • Thank you Christine πŸ˜€
    Yess, not hard to like SG, such a pretty place and full of Italian charm πŸ˜€

  • Glad you liked it! It’s a wonderful region… probably my favourite in Italy πŸ˜€

  • hahahaha ohh yes, especially with this summer heat!! πŸ˜€
    My husband used to go very often to Provence and he told me just the same… I need to go there!!

  • For me it was also just a day trip, but then the day after I went again πŸ˜€ next time I plan to stay a little longer in the area. I imagine that at night is empty, and I wanna see it like this, without all the tourists πŸ˜€

  • hahaha πŸ˜€ you’re welcome!

  • Ohh really?? That sounds amazing πŸ˜€
    I love Tuscany, and renting a farm house there sounds like heaven! I hope to do it sometime!!

    I hope you have a great week!!
    It’s pretty hot here in Munich!!

  • Yes!! Definitely! Now that you don’t live so far, it will be easier and cheaper to get there πŸ˜€
    I highly recommend spending some time in the region and getting to know all the little towns around!

  • Hi Jenny!!
    Yes, San Gimignano is amazing, and honestly, the entire Tuscan region! I hope you visit it someday! πŸ™‚
    Thank you!