Villa Alba

Places to stay in San Gimignano Italy with pool near via Francigena

Surroundings

We are in San Gimignano, a Unesco World Heritage City

A beautiful medieval village that still retains 14 of its original towers, surrounded by an incredible agricultural and scenic setting: hills of forests, olive groves, Vernaccia di San Gimignano vineyards, Chianti Colli Senesi wineries and excellent selection wines.

How to get around

Leave your car in Villa Alba’s parking area: the bus stop is right in front of the property, and San Gimignano’s Old Town is only a 10-minute walk away.

Discover San Gimignano

The jewel city preserves the ancient splendors of the 1300s.
The historical reenactment “Le Ferie delle Messi” is an ‘event held every year in mid-June; throughout the summer the City offers evenings of outdoor music and theater.
A must for your palate:
A tasty dish of handmade pappardelle pasta with wild boar sauce in our historic restaurant “La Stella”.

Places to stay in San Gimignano

Cellole and The Chapels of San Vivaldo

Church from 1200, an example of simple Romanesque architecture; recently restored neighboring buildings are now home to the Bose community. Free entrance.

Special interest in the small hamlet of San Vivaldo are the Chapels of the Sacred Mount of San Vivaldo, scattered in the surrounding woods and dating back to the early 1500s: they still preserve terracotta statuary groups representing Jesus Christ’s life and Passion. Free tours with possible limitations and reservations required.

The Church of Monteoliveto Minor

In Località Santa Lucia part of a Benedictine convent: small and pretty, some rooms of the former convent and its cloister can be visited. A fresco by Benozzo Gozzoli is still visible on the wall. Free entrance.

Abbey in Elmi

In a small town near Certaldo, we find what remains of an ancient abbey from the year 1000. Jewel of this place is a small crypt, still intact in its original architecture. It can be visited but with limitations.

Certaldo

Small wonderful medieval village, typical Tuscan, which owes its fame to Giovanni Boccaccio, poet and writer of the 1300s. A funicular railway regularly departs from Boccaccio Square to the hilltop village. In July it hosts “Mercantia,” a well-known street performers’ event. To visit, Palazzo Pretorio and Boccaccio’s house. In Castelfiorentino, not far from Certaldo, the small “BEGO” museum dedicated to Benozzo Gozzoli, who embellished the town with his frescoes.

Volterra

From the Etruscans to the nineteenth century, the entire city is marked by history and its testimonies in every street of the historic center. It is remembered by all for being the liveliest evidence of Etruscan civilization in this area! To visit: the Praetorian Palace and the main square, the city’s cathedral, the archaeological park with the Etruscan acropolis, and the Guarnacci Etruscan Museum. Several Etruscan tombs can be visited in the surrounding area. Typical product of this city is alabaster craftsmanship. “Volterra AD 1398” is a medieval re-enactment held in August.

Colle Val d’Elsa and Monteriggioni

Colle Val d’Elsa has a very pleasant small historic center, known in the World for the high quality craftsmanship of crystal: a few companies offer direct sales to privates. Do you want a moment in total contact with nature, in an exceptional place? Treat yourself to a pleasant walk on the “SENTIERELSA” trail, the river park of the Elsa River that crosses the entire valley. Monteriggioni is a town that stands on a hill. A small, well-preserved jewel set in the original 1200s city walls. “Monteriggioni di torri si corona” is an event that takes place there, every year in July, during two weekends.

The area of Chianti Classico

The road called “Chiantigiana” stretches from Siena to Florence crossing precisely the production area of Chianti Classico, one of the best known red wines in the World: a very diversified rural environment among woods, vineyards, olive groves in surprising heights, from the valley of the Greve just over 200 meters high, up to Mount San Michele that reaches almost 900 meters. Bristling, steep hills, incredible differences in height for a fascinating panorama dotted with small ancient villages, churches and convents, large landed estates with Villas and Castles, very well restored and now home to wineries producing Chianti Classico, excellent Reserves and selection wines. The most important towns: Gaiole, Castellina, Radda, Greve in Chianti, Impruneta and their small adjoining villages, such as Panzano, Volpaia. The wineries open their doors to visitors on gardens, portions of the building and beautiful cellars, combining the tasting of their products. Among them are the castles Brolio, Fonterutoli, Meleto. Are you art lovers? Don’t miss the Chianti Sculpture Park, contemporary installations and sculptures created within the woods, an extraordinary example of land art.

Abbey of San Galgano

The Church of San Galgano was one of the most beautiful Cistercian churches in Italy. Built in the 1200s, in Gothic forms, it has since undergone degradation over time to its present state: its load-bearing structures are intact; the roof and flooring are completely missing. Nevertheless, its majesty and atmosphere are magical and evocative. Not far away is the Hermitage of Montesiepi, where the sword in the rock of St. Galgano can be admired.

The Crete Senesi and the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore

South of Siena, between Asciano and Rapolano Terme, lies a fascinating territory of small rolling hills, where endless biancane and gullies follow one another: the Crete Senesi. A magical space where your eye gets lost in the horizon and frames here and there cypress avenues, small churches, a simple farmhouse. In this context stands the majestic Abbey of Monteoliveto Maggiore, the mother house of the Olivetan Benedictine monks. The cloister of the Abbey contains a beautiful cycle of frescoes depicting the stories of St. Benedict, painted by Luca Signorelli and Sodoma.

Val d'Orcia

An iconic territory of Tuscany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. Rolling hills, an agricultural and pastoral landscape, vineyards that have given birth to two classic Tuscan wines, Nobile di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino, but also towns, medieval villages, churches, farmhouses, the Via Francigena, which leaves Tuscany from here and winds its way to Rome. Montepulciano, Pienza, San Quirico are all medieval villages, now examples of splendid Renaissance architecture. Bagno Vignoni and Bagni di San Filippo, where you can indulge in a little relaxation in the natural hot springs with a thermal path with small waterfalls in the woods, accessible by an easy walk, until you reach the area called “Balena Bianca,” completely free for your own enjoyment. Both in Montalcino and Montepulciano, it is possible to visit several wineries and taste wines paired with typical local products (reservation required). Those who reach Montalcino cannot forget a stop at the majestic Abbey of Sant’Antimo, one of the most beautiful Romanesque examples in Tuscany, in a place of absolute peace. The beauty and charm of these places have over time been chosen as film sets but also by artists and poets who have found in Val d’Orcia the right balance for their artistic expression.