S. Gimignano takes its name from the bishop of Modena, dead in 397 a. C. During Medieval Times the town, which, the legend tells, had got seventy-two towers, was an important and rich centre, thanks to the production of spices (above all saffron, a spice whose cultivation is still practiced), and to the trades carried on by the noble families living in the main buildings of the town, which still have their names.

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And it is just in one of these buildings, Braccieri’s Palace, that rises our Hotel. Before being used as a hotel, the building was the seat of a Hospital, whose function was to assist foundlings.

In the Hospital there was also a “Pellegrinaio”, which harboured and gave shelter to the pilgrims travelling along Via Francigena, the big road from and to Rome, which passed through S. Gimignano too.

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The Hotel ‘La Cisterna’ was founded in 1918 by the brothers Arturo and Gino Salvestrini; since then, the Hotel has always been run by the members of the same family. Ours is the fourth generation. When it was opened, it had got few rooms and only some year later the Restaurant ‘Le Terrazze’ was established.

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During the 2nd World War, the Hotel worked just for a few British tourists forced to stay here as interned. In the same period it was requisitioned by German soldiers and used as their headquarters. The family was forced to move to the cellars and lived there till the allies liberated the Country from the invaders. When the war was eventually over, and the economy of the Country was better, some extension was made to the main structure. The building was utterly extended during the seventies, when tourism became a mass-phenomenon.