San GimignanoSaint Gimignano
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ssan class="mw-headline" id="History">History
A small Eltruscan hamlet existed on the site of San Gimignano in the third millennium BC. The chroniclers Lupi, Coppi and Pecori report that during the plot of the cathedral against the Roman Republic in the 1. cent. two male patricians, Muzio and Silvio, escaped from Rome to Valdelsa and constructed two fortresses, Mucchio and Silvia (today San Gimignano).
In 450 A.D. the name Silvia was modified to San Gimignano after Bishop Geminianus, the holy one of Modena, interfered to save the palace from being destroyed by the supporters of Attila the Hun. Thus a sanctuary was consecrated to the holy, and in the sixth and seventh century a built-up hamlet was built around it, which was later named the "Castle of San Gimignano" or Forest Palace because of the vast woods.
In 929 the city was governed by the Volterra Episcopal See. For the next two hundred years, however, the city' s peaceful past was disrupted by the conflicts between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines and the rivalry between the Ghibellines and their relatives within San Gimignano. As a result, rival households built ever higher and higher towers.
At the end of the Middle Ages there were 72 towers, which were up to 70 meters (230 feet) high. St Geminianus is the city' protector, but it also pays tribute to St Fina, also known as Seraphina and Serafina, who was conceived in 1238 in San Gimignano and whose anniversary is the 12th of March.
Ghirlandaio's frescoes and casket are in the chapel of Santa Fina in the collegiate church. Well, the place they call home is still in the city. Florence ruled the city. Some Gothic palaces were constructed in the Florentine period, and many of the turrets were scaled down to the level of the buildings.
This was followed by little further evolution and San Gimignano survived in its mediaeval state until the nineteenth centuries, when its tourist and artistical character began to emerge. Situated on the top of a hillside with the major north-south route. Porta San Giovanni on the southern crest, Porta San Matteo on the northwest and Porta S. Jacopo on the northeast.
Via San Matteo and Via San Giovanni are the major roads that run through the entire municipality from east to west. There are four plazas in the centre of the city: the Cathedral Plaza, which houses the Collegiate Church; Piazza Cisterna, Pecori and Erbe Plazas. Another important plaza, Piazza Agostino, is located to the northern part of the centre and houses the church of Sant' Agostino.
Sites of the Collegiate Church and Sant' Agostino's and their squares efficiently split the city into two areas. San Gimignano has many Roman and Gothic architectural masterpieces. In addition to temples and mediaeval ramparts, there are a number of example of romanic civil and residential buildings, which differ in their round and pointed arch.
Entering from Via San Giovanni, this plaza is the city' s central plaza. This is a three-cornered building enclosed by mediaeval buildings of various date, including some beautiful Romanesque and Gothic palazzi. In the middle of the plaza there is a fountain, which was the principal spring of spring waters for the inhabitants of the city.
Located just off Plaza Cisterna, this plaza is linked by a passageway next to an open balcony. The collegiate chapel is to the west, at the top of the plaza, and is accessed by a wide staircase. Its name seems to indicate that this place was once a temple, but although it may have been designed, this was not the case.
Palazzo Comunale and Palazzo Podesta, the mayor's residence, are other important monuments on the plaza. Whereas in other towns, such as Florence, most or all of its spires were destroyed by war, disaster or regeneration, San Gimignano has succeeded in preserving fourteen spires of different height for which it is famous worldwide.
The city has many churches: the two most important are the Collegiata, formerly a Catholic Basilica, and Sant'Agostino, home to many works of art by early Italians. Pieve di Santa Maria in Cèllole, a small hamlet in the parish, is an example of a popular roman temple. Can Gimignano is the place of birth of the writer Folgore da San Gimignano (1270-1332).
For a fictional account of San Gimignano, see E. M. Forster's 1905 novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread as Monteriano. The 1999 play Teatro with Mussolini, about the misery of British and US emigrants in Italy during the Second World War, was partly shot in San Gimignano. Frescos that protect the woman from destruction by the Bundeswehr retreat are located inside the cathedral, the city's principal fortress.
Francis Zeffirelli used San Gimignano as a representation for the city of Assisi in his 1972 Saint Francis of Assisi bioopic Brother Sun, Sister Moon. Hire a cloister from the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries near San Gimignano for a period of one months. Escher's 1923 San Gimignano woodblock print shows the famous tower. Can Gimignano is a partnership with: