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San Gimignano

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San Gimignano (ZIP code 53037) is 39,5 kilometers far from Siena, that is the Chief Town of the homonymous province to whom the municipality belongs.

San Gimignano has a population of 7.105 inhabitants (Sangimignanesi) and a surface of 138,77 square kilometers thus showing a population density of 51,20 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 324 metres above the sea level.

The City Hall is located in Piazza Del Duomo 2, phone ++39 0577 - 9901, fax ++39 0577 - 940112: the E-Mail address is sindaco@comune.sangimignano.si.it.

Population: The municipality of San Gimignano had a popolation of 6.956 inhabitants accordingly to the results of the national census made in 1991. After the national census made in 2001 the population was 7.105 inhabitants, thus showing during the years 1991 - 2001 a percentual variation of 2,14% inhabitants.

The inhabitants are distributed in 2.713 families with an average of 2,62 people per family.

The place: The territory of the municipality lies between 67 and 629 metres above sea level.

The altimetric spawn is thus of 562 metres.

Work and workers:There are 301 industrial firms employing 1.788 people that are the 45,57% of the total of the workers. There are 230 service firms employing 503 people that are the 12,82% of the total of the workers. There are also 282 firms employing 1.112 people that are the 28,34% of the total of the workers. There are also 39 administrative offices emplying 521 workers that are the 13,28% of the total of the workers.

There is a total of 3.924 workers, that are the 55,23% of the inhabitants of the municipality.

San Gimignano rises on a hill dominating the Valley of Elsa.

San Gimignano is an agricultural town, famous for wine-growing production of the Vernaccia wine and the cultivation of the saffron. The actual economy of San Gimignano, mainly industrial, is characterized also by an increasing turistic activity and a flourishing artisan activity.

Between the second and third centuries B. C. the area of San Gimignano was populated by the Etruscans, as show the archaeological data preserved in the town Museum. There are no historical data known about Roman period.

The official history of San Gimignano started around the tenth century when a bishop coming from Modena, called Saint Gimignano, defended and saved the town from the Barbaric hordes: from then on, the town took the bishop's name.

The town of San Gimignano flourished around 1000, when it became a free common and equipped itself by a secure ring of walls. The town received the aristocratic noblemen coming from the close country who built everyone his own house-tower: during the tenth century the towers gathered forming an urban settlement.

During the twelfth century San Gimignano passed to the Ghibellines belonging to the faction that supported the Empire, and for the town started a period of economic expansion supported by the trade of local agricultural products.

At the end of the thirteenth century there were seventy-two towers, inkling of the increasing urban aristocracy. Today the towers are only fifteen but they are sufficient to make the medieval shape of San Gimignano unmistakable.

In the first decades of XIV-th century the religious Franciscan, Dominican and Benedictine orders went to San Gimignano.

During 1300 started a period of economic and population decline caused of, the internal conflicts between Guelphs (Papacy's supporters) and Ghibellines (Empire's supporters) and an epidemic of plague that decimated population. This such period ended in 1351 when San Gimignano passed to Florence.

Under the dominion of Florence San Gimignano followed Florentine chances until 1861 when occurred the anexion of Tuscany to the Reign of Italy.

Among the most interesting monuments to see in San Gimignano we point out here the Chiesa di Sant'Agostino (Saint Agostino Church), the Chiesa di San Jacopo (Saint Jacopo Church), the Chiesa di San Bartolo (Saint Bartolo Church), the Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta (Saint Mary Assunta Collegiate Church) and the Rocca di Montestaffoli (Montestaffoli Fortress).

Among several celebrations taking place periodically in San Gimignano we point out the traditional "Fiera delle Messi" held on June the third week-end. The celebration takes place by a procession in Medieval costumes that remembers the Medieval activities and traditions used in the valley of Elsa.