When visiting the medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano, it’s immediately apparent why it's known as the City of Towers; originally thought to be 72 built in total, the 14 that remain dominate the skyline for miles around.
Constructed by wealthy families as a way to show off power and status, the confines of the city walls meant there was no room to 'build out' - so they 'built up'. As in other Tuscan towns, over time most of the towers were either demolished to make way for other buildings or destroyed in wars, and so the 14 that remain now form part of the town’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tallest of these is the Torre Grossa, or Great Tower, standing at 54 metres tall. Dating back to 1311, visitors who climb the 218 steps are rewarded with incredible views over the towns tiled rooftops and surrounding green Tuscan countryside.
Opening hours: 9.30am – 6.30pm (April to October).
Prices: Entrance to the Torre Grossa is combined with the Palazzo Comunale and Pinacotesca (Town hall and art gallery) from €6.00 per adult/ £5 per senior citizen (over 65)/ €5 per child (6-17 years)/ Free entry for children under 6 years (please take a passport as proof of ID).
*Prices and opening hours may be subject to change.