Sights to see in San Gimignano

Sights to see in San Gimignano

Sacred places, Spices & Fairytale-like Scenery

Modest in size yet abundant in History and Art, San Gimignano is a fabulous destination or a detour that cannot be renounced. Guests come from all four corners of the world to visit us.

If you stop off for a few days at the Hotel la Cisterna, we will provide you with all the help you need to successfully visit and explore all that there is to see in San Gimignano.

All that there is to see in San Gimignano

Archeological Museum

This museum is found within the same area as the gallery and apothecary.

The museum brings together archeological finds from the San Gimignano territory—some of them dating back to the Etruscan period of the Eighteenth Century.

The archeological finds on display enable museum visitors to follow the evolution of table and kitchen utensils from that epoch.

One may also observe the techniques used to elaborate beautiful works of glass and ceramic typical of that time period.


The Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta, more well-known as the Duomo (cathedral) of San Gimignano, was consecrated in 1148, and today still conserves the extraordinary frescoes of the Sienese School with the Old and New Testaments, the Martyrdom of San Sebastiano by Benozzo Gozzoli, and the wooden statues of Iacopo della Quercia.

The Cappella (chapel) of Santa Fina, patroness of the city, is a Renaissance masterpiece frescoed by Ghirlandaio and other minor painters.

Municipal Museum

In the age-old municipal palazzo (palace) of 1200 rising above the Torre Grossa, one will find the Pinacoteca.

Here is on display indisputable masterpieces such as the Annunciazione of Filippino, one of the last works of Pinturicchio; the Maestà of Lippo Menni; and other paintings by Benozzo Gozzoli.

The Sala Dante that holds some other works of art, takes its name from the Tuscan poet who was a guest here during the Middle Ages.

Museum of Torture & Death Penalty Instrumentation

We do not recommend that very sensitive individuals visit the Museum of Torture & Death Penalty Instrumentation.

A visitor will find here an extraordinary collection of tools, machinery and other instruments utilized in past centuries to torture criminals and witches.

No other museum in the world has on display objects such as the Cintura di Castità (The Chastity Belt), the terrible Vergine di Norimberga (The Iron Maiden),the Sedia Inquisitoria (The Inquisitor's Chair) and the Maschera d’Infamia (The Mask of Infamy).

Raffaele De Grada Gallery

In the old Conservatorio of Santa Chiara where the apothecary is located, the Gallery of Modern & Contemporary Art of Raffaele De Grada is headquartered.

De Grada was a Milanese painter who passed a good part of his life in San Gimignano.

The gallery's art collection holds his works and those of other grand artists such as Guttuso, Sassu, Fieschi and Cassinari. In addition, very often exciting exhibitions are put on. 

They are dedicated to photography and artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Rocca di Montestaffoli

If the stunning view upon the valley and its rolling Sienese hills—that you can enjoy from the comfort of your room in the Hotel La Cisterna—is not enough for you, you can also visit the Rocca di Montestaffoli, a fortress of the 14th century that offers an exceptional panorama on the city and its surrounding countryside. 

Saffron Production

It is not very much known that San Gimignano, as early as the 1100s, has been an area where the production of pure saffron is still developed.

It is not difficult to individualize these production plants.

You may discover the cultivation techniques employed by the workers.

From the gathering of the saffron flowers to the final finished product, one may enjoy a unique introduction to saffron manufacturing.

Then all that is needed is a delicious Tuscan meal—naturally spiced with saffron! 

The Apothecary of Santa Fina

This fascinating apothecary, a medieval pharmacy of the sixteenth century, is dedicated to the patroness of the city.

It has been kept unadulterated and its appearance is what it was centuries ago. Its presence will catapult you into the Past.

You can also observe enormous ceramic or glass vases blazoned with hand-written designs.

You will inhale the aromas, the medicines and the original remedies made from the oils of scorpions, mandrakes and precious stones.

The Church of St. Augustine

It will be worth your while to visit this Romanesque church. It dates back to the Third Century AD. Its façade is simple, and it contrasts itself with the artistic beauty of the inside of the church.

The Cappella (Chapel) of Beato Bartolo, whose remains are contained in the church in a marble mausoleum, was frescoed by Sebastiano Mainardi.

The church's flooring is the work of the grand ceramist Andrea della Robbia.

The main altar is adorned with one of Pollaiolo's works, and the Cappella Maggiore (main chapel) was frescoed by Benozzo Gozzoli, and it displays stunning artistic creations based on the life of St. Augustine. 

Vernaccia Wine Museum

In the Villa of Rocca di Montestaffoli one can discover a fine exhibition of the great wines that have come from the San Gimignano rural area.

First, there is the famous Vernaccia DOCG.

Other wines on exhibit make this a must-see for those who wish to dig deeper into the history and systems of production of these exceptional wines produced in San Gimignano.

This experience is multi-sensory and is unique in its own. Wine tastings, accompanied by an expert sommelier, are available upon request. 

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