The Collegiate Church of San Gimignano
by Tours of Tuscany
The Collegiate Church of San Gimignano
With a wide variety of things to love about the stunning region of Tuscany, it should come as no surprise that this area sees countless tourists from around the globe every year. Sites like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Uffizi Gallery and many more are located here – and you’re sure to want to see them all.
None can deny that there is so much potential for an excellent vacation in this part of Italy and that there are an array of options for you to choose from; although there are a few places that you’ll definitely want to check out, such as the Duomo of San Gimignano.
Why take a trip to San Gimignano?
If you’re considering paying a visit to the breathtaking Italian region of Tuscany for your next holiday, you probably already know that there are a wide variety of incredible locations for you to enjoy. From Siena to Florence, there are so many excellent towns that you may not find time to peruse all of them during your stay.
One town that you certainly won’t want to miss out on seeing is the medieval hilltop locale of San Gimignano. This location is considered beautiful, charming and impressive – thanks to its skyline of medieval towers, which have earned it several nicknames such as “the Town of Fine Towers” and “the Manhattan of the Middle Ages”.
A lot of people who visit San Gimignano don’t spend too long exploring before moving on to see something else, often as they simply don’t know all of the worthwhile sights. For example, if you get the chance to even spend a few hours here, you should aim to take the time to check out the beauty of the Collegiate Church.
The beauty of Collegiata di San Gimignano
Most who have seen the beauty of the Duomo of San Gimignano will know exactly why this site deserves a visit. The simple answer is that there’s just so much to love about this amazing church. If you’re trying to find the best parts of the region to explore during your holiday however, you’re sure to want a more in-depth answer as to why you can’t miss out on the opportunity to see this religious site for yourself.
The stunning frescoes
One of the key reasons why the church is so popular among tourists is because of the many, many amazing frescoes that decorate the walls (it is considered to be a fully-frescoed Duomo). Interestingly enough, even though many of these were originally painted in the 1300s, there has never been the need for restoration.
There are a few parts that are unfortunately a little imperfect, mostly due to missing pieces that were destroyed during the bombing in World War II, but you’ll find that most of them are still bright, vivid and colourful – so much so that you would think that they were painted far more recently than 700 years ago.
When you enter, you’ll see a stunning fresco cycle by Bartolo di Fredi dedicated to the Old Testament on the right. The stories of the New Testament are shown in a fresco cycle on the right wall from the altar, which are known to have been painted by someone from Simone Martini’s workshop (Simone Martini himself was in France during the time that these were created). No one knows for sure who completed the works, although some theorise that it could have been his brother Donato Martini, his brother-in-law Lippo Memmi, or even Lippo’s brother Federico Memmi.
The Chapel of Santa Fina
Located within the stunning Collegiata di San Gimignano is a small chapel, which is dedicated to Santa Fina. Unlike the rest of the church, which is notably Romanesque, this area has a clear style reminiscent of the Renaissance era. This gem was created by three of Florence’s greatest minds; Giuliano da Maiano (the architect), Benefetto da Maiano (the sculptor) and Domenico Ghirlandaio (the painter). Together, these three individuals make a truly stunning chapel in memory of Santa Fina; the saint and protector of San Gimignano.
This section of the church is absolutely stunning and is well worth checking out – and there are a number of things that you’re sure to find interesting. For example, did you know that the remains of Santa Fina are buried under the main alter?
Domenico Ghirlandaio painted stunning frescoes on the left and right walls of the chapel, with some help from his brother David Ghirlandaio and brother-in-law Sebastiano Mainardi. Both of these paintings are absolutely remarkable and well worth seeing with your own eyes. Many would agree that it’s the little details captured within these masterpieces that make them such incredible frescoes; from the small creases in the clothes, to the household items that have been included.
The Museum of Sacred Art
If you have the time, you won’t want to miss out on the chance to check out the Museum of Sacred Art. This adjoining museum has a number of treasures for you to see from the Duomo of San Gimignano and other religious sites from the town. Because of this, you’re sure to find that this site is well worth a visit.
Many people overlook this museum, although there are so many different things that are on offer on this site alone. You’ll find fragments of detached frescoes from the church, priceless reliquaries and so much more – and this is why the Museum of Sacred Art is truly a worthwhile landmark for holidaymakers to enjoy.
Take the time to pay Collegiata di San Gimignano a visit
There may be many amazing things to do in the region of Tuscany and even a whole host of attractions and activities that you’ll want to check out in San Gimignano alone; but as you can see, this church certainly has a lot to offer to those who make the decision to stop by. The Collegiate Church of San Gimignano is a feast for the eyes and historically rich; making for a great destination for a number of visitors, no matter what you are hoping to experience during your stay.