A Day of Adventure and Relaxation: San Gimignano and the Local Thermal Baths
Joe, Spring 2023, Florence
June 2, 2023

The famous rolling Tuscan hills.

As a study abroad student, I was lucky enough to take a tour of San Gimignano and visit the local thermal baths with a group of new friends. It was my first trip after arriving to study in Florence, and I was eager to explore Tuscany and immerse myself in the local culture.

San Gimignano is a small hilltop town in Tuscany, recognized for its well-preserved medieval architecture and towers. Our guide led us through the narrow streets and squares, sharing the town’s rich history and culture. The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and we marveled at the stunning views of the Tuscan landscape.

We visited the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, famous for its beautiful frescoes and Gothic architecture. The church’s interior was a feast for the eyes, with intricate detailing and beautiful stained-glass windows that cast a warm glow over the space.

The beautiful frescos of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta.

Next, we explored the Piazza della Cisterna, a beautiful square in the heart of the town. The square is surrounded by ancient buildings and is home to a beautiful fountain and a well. It was a great place to take a break and soak in the atmosphere of the town.

After exploring the town, we made our way to the local thermal baths, which were nestled in a beautiful natural setting surrounded by lush greenery. The warm waters were incredibly relaxing, and we spent hours soaking, chatting, and getting to know each other. What made the experience even more special was the opportunity to make new friends and share the journey with a community of fellow study abroad students. We bonded over our mutual love for Italy and its culture, and it was a great way to connect with people from around the world who share similar interests and passions.

One of the many towers overlooking the town.

Overall, our day in San Gimignano and the local thermal baths was an unforgettable experience that allowed me to explore Tuscany, immerse myself in the local culture, and make new friends. It was an excellent introduction to Italy and allowed me to set a strong foundation that I was able to build upon for the remainder of the semester. I highly recommend visiting San Gimignano to anyone traveling to Tuscany. The town’s well-preserved medieval architecture, beautiful countryside, and rich history make it a must-visit destination. If you’re planning a visit, here are three things you must see:

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta
Piazza della Cisterna
The town’s towers

Overall, San Gimignano is a hidden gem in Tuscany, and I highly recommend adding it to your travel itinerary. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply soaking in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside, San Gimignano has something for everyone.

The historic streets of San Gimignano.

Written by: Joe, Spring 2023 Florence student from University of Missouri

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