Let’s face it, San Gimignano isn’t that easy to pronounce. So, even the locals and foreign locals, like me, we call it “San G”. Located in the heart of Tuscany and on the northern edge of the province of Siena, San Gimignano was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1990. It is known for its famous towers and at one time had 72 tower houses guarding the city. Today, however, only 14 have survived to serve as beacons calling us to explore this unique city and its amazing examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The towers continue to mesmerize me every time I visit and even a glimpse from afar as they rise majestically from the horizon is captivating.
Summer in San G. is an extremely busy period for tourism. But I personally prefer the city at this time of year and enjoy discovering its hidden treasures. One treasure is saffron, and autumn is saffron season. Grown here since the 1100s, saffron has played an important role in San Gimignano history and according to legend, at one time was even considered currency! Now, it’s a local thrill to visit the organic crocus fields, witness the dawn harvest and, of course, sample the traditional Tuscan dishes that feature this prized “giallo come l’oro“. I’ve included a photo of a few of saffron crocus so you can see for yourself.
There are eight entrances into this medieval town. But the main gates are Porta San Giovanni on the ridge extending south, Porta San Matteo to the northwest and Porta San Jacopo to the northeast. When I’m here for work, I like to enter via Porta San Matteo and walk to the Piazza del Duomo. This is where I must come to deliver wedding related documents for couples lucky enough to be wed at the Palazzo Comunale. There are two great options for hosting a civil wedding ceremony in San G. and both are located in the Palazzo Comunale, the “city hall”of San Gimignano since the 13th century.
1) Medieval Courtyard – a perfect location for an intimate, outdoor wedding with family and friends. Non-residents fee for 2016 is € 1,300. The venue provides chairs for guests present at the civil ceremony.
2) Dante’s Hall – Sala di Dante – a large hall adorned with 14th century frescoes, including Lippo Memmi’s spectacular Maestà. Non-residents fee for 2016 is € 1,100
Discover more destinations for your dream wedding in Tuscany on this page.
On today trip to San G., I ventured over to the Piazza della Cisterna to “Louise Made in Italy” to collect some very pretty wedding favors – custom made scarves and vests. These will be a real treat for the guests of the couple who will soon be married in the Medieval Courtyard.
I always enjoy introducing you to my colleagues — who are some of the best wedding industry professionals in the world — and Louise Moller is no exception. She has been designing clothes and accessories from her atelier in San Gimignano for over twenty years. Louise has a singular and elegant design sensibility that imparts a strong connection to the beauty of the Tuscan landscape. With her tasteful use of silk and cotton, combined with unique design elements for an extra richness, she creates lovely and memorable pieces that are the perfect Tuscan wedding mementos.
I really enjoy working with Louise and you might remember her from the gorgeous bridal dresses she created for our Tuscan Garden-inspired style shoot, featured in Junebug weddings this past summer.
If you’re looking for memorable destination for your dream wedding, consider San Gimignano.
As always thanks for sharing )
Natalia + Mary xx
Photo credits: Natalia Music and Louise Moller
Styling: Natalia Music