Join us on a Full-day, Guided Tour of two of Tuscany’s most beautiful towns: San Gimignano and Volterra. Our walk will take us through their beautifully-preserved medieval streets and squares. We will see, amongst other things, the Church of St.Augustine in San Gimignano, Volterra’s Roman theatre, plus special visit to an alabaster workshop, to see local artisans at work.
More Information on our San Gimignano and Volterra Guided Tour
City “of wind and rock”, as described by Italian poet Gabriele D’Annunzio – Volterra sits on a hill, overlooking the Cecina Valley. Volterra is also one of Tuscany’s most scenic walled towns, boasting a perfectly preserved Medieval historical center, although its origin dates back to the Etruscans, who made it an important site for alabaster production.
The Romans later renamed it Volaterrae and enriched it with a theatre and thermal spas.
During the Medieval period, the city enjoyed a renewed phase of splendour. This is exemplified by the construction of the Priori Palace, the first ever in Tuscany, the Duomo (Cathedral) and Baptistry.
With its stunning skyline of towers, San Gimignano has been declared a World Heritage Site, under the protection of UNESCO. Known as “la città delle belle torri” (town of beautiful towers), S.Gimignano still evokes the appearance of Medieval Tuscany more than any other town. Thirteen medieval towers still standing (out of an original 72) testify the original wealth of the town. During the Middle Ages, San Gimignano’s population of 15.000 (twice the present number) prospered mainly as a result of agriculture and commerce (especially saffron). San Gimignano also benefited from its position, close to the via Francigena, the ancient trade and pilgrimage route between Rome and northern Europe.
Our walking tour starts at the Porta S. Giovanni Gate. Following the Pilgrim’s route it ends at Porta S. Marco Gate, taking in Piazza della Cisterna, Piazza del Duomo with the Romanesque cathedral (the Collegiata) and Palazzo del Podestà, Salvucci’s towers, plenty of charming medieval streets and St.Augustine Church of course, famous for its beautiful fresco cycle by Benozzo Gozzoli.