The late-13th-century home of the city government, Palazzo del Commune, is topped with San Gimignano’s tallest tower, the aptly named Torre Grossa (Big Tower), finished in 1311. Your reward for a climb to the top will be views of the cityscape and rolling countryside of the Val d’Elsa. (Tip: Save your knees and enjoy the same outlook for free by making the gentler 5-minute climb uphill from Piazza del Duomo to the ruined Rocca.) Inside the Palazzo’s Camera del Podestà (Room of the Mayor) are San Gimignano’s most famous frescoes, Memmo di Filippuccio’s “Scenes of Married Life.” In one scene, a couple takes a bath together, and in the other, the scantily-clad fellow climbs into bed beside his naked wife. In the adjoining painting gallery, look for the “Coppo di Marcovaldo Crucifix,” an astonishingly touching work in which a vulnerably human figure of Christ is surrounded by six intricate little scenes of the Crucifixion. The artist Coppo, a Florentine soldier, was captured by the Sienese, who soon realized what a treasure they had in him; his masterpieces show a transition away from flat Byzantine style to more varied texture and three-dimensionality. The head of St. Fina (see the Collegiata) is kept in the Tabernacle of Santa Fina (1402), painted with scenes of the teenage saint’s miracles. Taddeo di Bartolo, who did the terrifying “Last Judgment” in the Collegiata, painted the “Life of St. Gimignano (or Geminianus)” for this room. St. Gimignano was a 5th-century bishop of Modena who saved his people from an attack by Attila the Hun by conjuring up a dense fog. Hearing the news, the little town known as Silvia changed its name to San Gimignano. The saint is depicted cradling his namesake town in his lap, towers and all.
San Gimignano› Attraction
Museo Civico & Torre Grossa
Piazza del Duomo
Our Rating Hours Apr–Oct daily 9:30am–7pm; Nov–Feb daily 11am–5:30pm; Mar 10am–5:30pm Phone 0577/286-300 Prices Admission 5€. Cumulative ticket (also includes church of San Lorenzo in Ponte and other sights) 9€ adults, 7€ ages 6–18 and seniors 65 and up
MapPiazza del Duomo San Gimignano
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.