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The towers of San Gimignano

The towers in San Gimignano have always been the symbol of power and greatness and for this reason there was a real race to build the tallest tower. San Gimignano initially had 72 towers while now the towers are 14 and they have given to San Gimignano the name of Manhattan in the Middle Ages.

Tower of the Podestà

The Torre del Podestà, also known as Torre Grossa, with its 54 meters, is the highest tower of San Gimignano.It was built in 1300next to the Palazzo del Comune, severely damaged by lightning in 1600, then rebuilt and open to the public. To access, you pass through the Dante room and the Podestà room where you can find the Majesty of Lippo Memmi and the paintings of Filipuccio.

Torre Rognosa

The oldest tower  is the Torre Rognosa, in Piazza del Duomo. Belonging to the Gregori and later Oti family, it was built in 1200 and it is the second highest tower in San Gimignano. The nickname Rognosa was attributed to it because it was used as a prison and therefore for those who had trouble,  rogne in italian.

Twin towers

Despite the ban on building towers higher than the Torre Rognosa, the Guelph family of Salvucci built the two twin towers and the enemy Ghibelline family of Ardinghelli immediately built the tower called Ardighelli in Piazza della Cisterna. Both exceeded the height of the Rognosa and for this reason they were halved by the city authorities.

Devil's Tower

Located in Piazza della Cisterna, adjacent to the Palazzo dei Cortesi, is the famous tower with a sinister and esoteric appearance with protruding shelves. Accoprding to the legend, the owner, upon returning from a long journey, found the tower higher than when he left and this episode was attributed as the work of the Devil. This tower is also known thanks to the game Assasin's Creed.

Chigi Tower

This tower belonging to the Useppi family, has the particularity of having the entrance on the first floor, a typical method for defending oneself from thieves and the contempt of enemy families. During the day a ladder was then lowered to go down to the street.

Campatelli Tower

Located in via San Giovanni, about 28 meters high, Torre Campatelli belonged to the Campatelli family. It is a tower house where the ground floor was used for commercial use, the upper floor was used as a dwelling and the top floor had the function of observation and defense. Now it is part of the FAI and it is possible to visit it.

In addition there are the Torre dei Becci, belonging to the Becci family, between Piazza della Cisterna and via San Giovanni and the Torre dei Cugnanesi in the building of the same name, which is part of the first city wall.

20
Apr
2021
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