With this driving-guided day-trip from Florence you will discover the two most famous medieval towns in Tuscany, both part of the UNESCO Heritage list: Siena and San Gimignano.
Your day-trip in Tuscany will start with your personal driving-guide meeting you at you hotel in Florence, and drive for 1,5hrs to Siena. The city was, probably, founded by the Etruscans, a population that used to live in the central regions of Italy during the ancient history.
Thanks to its strategic position, on the main routes to Rome, Siena expanded its trades and became a wealthy city during the 10th century. It increased its economic and political importance tightening alliance with the Papal State and other minor cities in Tuscany.
During the medieval period, Siena became a free city-state among others and took the name Republic of Siena. This period has been particularly prolific for the city architecture, we can still admire the Cathedral built around 1200 on the site of an earlier structure. The lantern on top of the dome was added later by the great sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
During the visit of Siena you will have some time to enjoy the famous Piazza del Campo, a shell-shaped square that still conserves its medieval design. This is the square where, twice a year (on July 2nd and August 16th) the Palio di Siena horse race takes place: ten horses and riders representing each their city contrada, ride bareback. The race is run for three laps of the piazza and usually lasts no more than 90 seconds. Facing the square, you find Palazzo Pubblico with its famous Mangia Tower. The building was constructed with the purpose of holding the republican government and the tower was designed in 1325 to be higher than the tower of rival Florence, at that time known as the highest building in Italy.
After some free time enjoying the medieval footpaths of Siena you will be heading, together with your personal driver, to the beautiful town of San Gimignano, the drive takes less than one hour.
San Gimignano is famous all over the World for the fourteen towers of various height including the bell tower. With its 54 meters, the highest one is the Torre Grossa, located in the Duomo Square next to Palazzo Comunale, the building is the city hall since 13th century. The city hall and the Church of the Assumption are the most representative buildings of the historical center, both included into the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1990.
After a walking visit of the historical center, you can have a delicious lunch in one of the local restaurants. The region offers a wide selection of traditional dishes together with some of the most famous wines of the world: Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Morellino di Scansano red wines, together with the local Vernaccia di San Gimignano white wine.
The day-trip will end in San Gimignano and your driving-guide will drive you back to your hotel in Florence in 1h30 drive.
Your hotel in Florence area (different location may be agreed)
Suggested departure from 8:00am to 9:30am
You can customize your tour according to your needs and preferences, our staff would be happy to inform you about different options, alternative routes and sites.
Your private driver will welcome you at your hotel in Florence
Enjoy the visit to the historic centre of Siena that has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site.
Siena was first settled in the time of the Etruscans.
After the death of Countess Matilda in 1115 the border territory of the March of Tuscany which had been under the control of her family, the Canossa, broke up into several autonomous regions. This ultimately resulted in the creation of the Republic of Siena, which lasted for hundred years.
The Palio di Siena is a traditional medieval horse race run around the Piazza del Campo twice each year, on 2 July and 16 August. The event is attended by large crowds, and is widely televised. Seventeen Contrade (which are city neighbourhoods originally formed as battalions for the city’s defence) vie for the trophy: a painted banner, or Palio bearing an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
San Gimignano was founded in the 3rd century BC a small Etruscan village. However, some chroniclers relate that its name is linked to two patrician brothers, Muzio and Silvio, that built the first two castles in that area, Mucchio and Silvia (now San Gimignano).
The city is on the ridge of a hill, it is encircled by three walls and has at its highest point, to the west, the ruins of a fortress dismantled in the 16th century. There are eight entrances into the city, set into the second wall, which dates from the 12th and 13th centuries
In about 2h you will reach back your hotel in Florence