Observed Around the World: Tuscany's San Gimignano, a town of towers

Torre Chigi, left, and Torre Rognosa rise above Piazza Duomo, the city square in San Gimignano, Italy.

Life wasn’t easy in medieval Italy (400 years before the first permanent U.S. settlement), not even in a province as bountiful and beautiful as Tuscany. That included the life of the nobility. They built tower homes to show their wealth but with war common between the city-states from the 10th through the 14th centuries, the towers also provided safety when the village was attacked.

The town best known for its towers that survive today is San Gimignano in Tuscany. Originally having 72 towers, today it still has 14 towers, one of which is 177 feet high, thus giving it a distinct appearance even from a distance.

The photos show several of those towers as well as some street scenes with a more current appearance.

Robert Shields

A retired Coast Guard officer I have made Bay my home for the past 20 years.  Having taught at the college level as well I am the director of the Veteran Student Success Program at Cleveland State Univesity where I combine my military and education carriers to work with vets and serving members of the Guard & Reserve.  I have embraced Bay and co-founded the Bay Village Community Garden, am a member of the Green Team and also serve as a precinct leader for the Bay Dems.  I also served 5 years as the state chair for the Ohio chapter of the Sierra Club.  I enjoy kayaking with my wife, gardening, photography, rowing (crew), hiking and traveling.

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Volume 9, Issue 18, Posted 10:19 AM, 09.19.2017