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products and dishes from the City of 100 Towers

A town not even 8000 souls, less than 60 kilometers from Florence, perched on a hill just over 300 meters high from where it dominates the surrounding valley. welcome to Saint-Gimignanoone of the finest examples of a medieval city still beautifully preserved today.

Visit the historic center of San Gimignano it represents an authentic immersion in history. It is no coincidence that the oldest part of the Tuscan village was named in 1990 UNESCO heritage and yours many towers are a distinctive feature of the city in the province of Siena. There will be a reason why San Gimignano is also called the Manhattan of the Middle Ages: only by seeing a few photos of the center, in fact, the reason is easy to understand.


To draw the skyline, these are not huge glass and metal skyscrapers, but suggestive brick towers dating back to medieval times and once capable of literally filling the streets of the city. Overlooking the streets, squares and buildings below.

If today 14 leftin the period of greatest splendor of San Gimignano, around 1200, the number was much higher: 72. Each of them, or almost, belongs to a different city family. Much of which enriched through the trade of Saffron.

Historic Center of San Gimignano: Unesco Heritage

As indicated on the Unesco Italia website, in the section devoted to San Gimignano, the Old City of the village was recognized as world heritage site be an exceptional testimony to the medieval civilization “…Because it contains, in a limited space, all the typical structures of urban life: squares and streets, houses and buildings, wells and springs”.


The 14 still intact towers contribute “…to the preservation of the atmosphere andfeudal aspect of the city, which maintains a virtuous dialogue with the surrounding landscape and represents a jewel of medieval town planning and a treasure trove of masterpieces of Italian art between the 14th and 15th centuries. The historic center of San Gimignano is a cultural site of exceptional value, for its architectural homogeneity and its original urban layout and has retained its authenticity through the strict application of restoration principles”. A piece of the Middle Ages to contemporary times: a sudden leap in time, which seems to have stopped here, about sixty kilometers south of Florence.

What to eat in San Gimignano

The gastronomic aspect also represents a real journey through time. One of the most characteristic products of the region, lo Saffronwas grown and traded here already in medieval times, with the first evidence of its use in the kitchen dating back to 1228. The Vernacciathe emblematic wine of the Tuscan village, is a historical product: it was in fact among the first Italian DOCs to be named in 1966 but already in middle ages he was well known and appreciated.

More generally, let’s find out what are the typical specialties of the region.

1. Saffron


Let’s start right away Saffrona product so typical of the region that it also deserves the Dop. Well known already in medieval times, many local families grew rich through the saffron trade, used at least initially not for culinary purposes but as dyeing for thirst and clothing. Risotto, Pici And Cantuccini are just some of the preparations that can have saffron among the protagonists of the dish.

2. Pici with meat sauce


Among the most typical types of pasta in Tuscany. Water and flour are the ingredients made from Picisurmounted by rich meat sauce. Among the many, we cite the one based on chianina, Cinta Senese And lampredotto.

3. Boar


Wild boar, boar and more boar. If we hadn’t understood which wild animal is the king of local gastronomy, let’s specify it again: the wild boar. The most disparate preparations are made with its meats: the aforementioned stew seasoned with pici or tagliatelle until salamipassing through the waste or accompanied by mushrooms and polenta.

4. Salami


As we have guessed, meat is a real must in these regions. THE delicatessen represent an important part of the gastronomic tradition of San Gimignano: it would suffice to mention the Tuscan Dop Hamthe finocchiona (sausage with fennel seeds) or the deleted. All very tasty products to accompany the typical bland bread.

5. Ribollita


One of the typical recipes of the Tuscan tradition, specifically Florentine. The Ribollita is a soup stale bread enriched with seasonal vegetables, mainly autumn, and boiled several times. Hence the characteristic name of the dish.

6. Vernacia


Compulsory mention for the Vernaccia. A white wine that identifies the territory and is historical, already appreciated in the 1400s Lawrence the Magnificent and among the first Italian Docs to be named in 1966. In 1993, then, the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée et Garantie. It takes its name from the grape variety used, precisely Vernaccia di San Gimignano, and other non-aromatic white grape varieties can also be used to regulate it in quantities not exceeding 15%.

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