A week-end in the ancient Tuscan Villages

Discover Volterra, Certaldo and San Gimignano

Val d’Elsa and Val di Cecina are two fascinating areas of Tuscany and here I suggest to visit these small villages: Volterra, Certaldo and San Gimignano.
Let’s start from the first.


Suggested Hotel:

Palazzo San Lorenzo Palazzo San Lorenzo >Colle di Val d'Elsa


Volterra is located in the province of Pisa, in Val di Cecina, and it’s famous for the extraction of alabaster.
Getting in through the Porta dell’Arco you will arrive in the Old Town, which has Etruscan origins: walking through the streets you will find that the art and history here has a great and evident importance. I recommend you to visit these museums: the Etruscan Museum, the Art Gallery, the Museum of Sacred Art and the Eco Museum of alabaster. Arriving in Piazza dei Priori, the heart of the city, you will admire Palazzo dei Priori, which is the oldest municipal building throughout Tuscany.

An interesting thing: in this palace they filmed some scenes of the film New Moon, the second chapter of the popular saga of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

Finally, follow the signs to the Medici Fortress (which is now a prison and therefore it can’t be visited): inside the walls there are the park Enrico Fiumi and an interesting Etruscan archeological site.


Volterra, Tuscany - Ancient and fascinating Tuscan village


Going to the province of Florence, you’ll find the small town of Certaldo, in the heart of Val d'Elsa.
The village is famous because it’s the home of Giovanni Boccaccio.
In the upper part of the village, reachable on foot or by funicular, there is the Old Town: it’s not very big and it can be visited by walking for half an hour; here you can enjoy a beautiful view on the surrounding hills.
Also worth mentioning here is the Praetorian Palace (XII Century) and Boccaccio's House, where the writer lived, that is located in Via Boccaccio, the main street of the village. Today this house hosts the Boccaccio’s research center and a library containing documents from 1500-1700’s period.

An interesting thing: in 2010 in Certaldo it was shot the film "Amici miei" with Christian De Sica and Giorgio Panariello, two famous Italian actors.

Weekend in Certaldo - Ancient Tuscan village

Last but not least, San Gimignano, in the province of Siena, in Val d’Elsa.
The Old Town is a UNESCO world heritage: its appearance has remained almost entirely intact from 1200.
It stands on top of a hill with a wonderful view over Val d'Elsa hills.
For what is famous the San Gimignano village? Definitely for the medieval that characterize it.

An interesting thing: once the towers and the tower-houses were 72 , today they are 16: the highest (54 meters) is the Torre del Podestà.

Really romantic and charming is Piazza della Cisterna. Take a walk in this beautiful Tuscan village to relax and enjoy peace. Along the walls the view on the hills is really wonderful: during spring and summer the colors are so bright!

Week-end in San Gimignano - Tuscany and its ancient villages

Which of these 3 villages do you prefer?
If you don’t know, go and visit all of them, but don’t forget that the smaller and less touristic villages you will meet along the route have nothing to envy to the famous ones.

If you are looking for a place to stay at your weekend in Tuscany, have a look to the following hotel:

Palazzo San Lorenzo Palazzo San Lorenzo >Colle di Val d'Elsa


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