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From every angle San Gimignano’s appearance is medieval. Perched on a hill with its towers and green mountains behind it offers one of the best views of the Tuscan countryside.

Of the 72 towers that once defined the profile of San Gimignano, only 14 remain. (The film " Tea with Mussolini", taken from Franco Zeffirelli’s autobiography, suggests that a group of English and American women saved the remaining towers towards the end of the Second World War)

Around the Piazza del Duomo are a number of its monuments, including palaces, the cathedral with its famous frescoes, and 7 of the 14 remaining towers. The triangular Piazza della Cisterna, which is paved with stones set on edge, has a well in the centre. These squares date to the 13th and 14th centuries

In addition to the churches and other buildings, another attraction of San Gimignano worth a visit is the Museum of Torture - featuring such ancient relics as a fingernail clamp and a metal pig's head which, some say, medieval women were temporarily forced to wear for nagging their husbands too much!

Wine: Vernaccia di San Gimignano, made from the grape of the same name, is one of the best-known wines in Italy and the world. There are many vineyards in the area where tourists are welcome