If you like to shop you will like San Gimignano.
San Gimignano is one of my favourite hill-top towns. A big statement to make hey, when we know there are many fabulous hill-top towns in Italy. I have visited San Gimignano many times and always enjoy it. Yes it is a touristic place – but which one in Tuscany is not? Just don’t that let it get you down and do visit the town. It is unique and you will enjoy it. If you can, be there early in the morning or in the late afternoon. And do visit the streets away from the main one – they are almost deserted – here you could feel how the locals live in a medieval town.
The variety of shops is huge, varying from the same sort of tourist junk you see world-wide to fine jewellery and exquisite porcelain. There are many wine shops, enotecas, book stores, leather shops, glass shops, souvenir shops, you name it. There is a gelato shop that has won worlds best gelato maker twice
The streets are filled with artisanal shops selling intriguing items to bring back home. Most notable are the shops selling gourmet products such as olive oil, wines, pasta and other delicacies.
Furthermore, there are shops that sell local pottery and hand-woven tablecloths and other fabrics. Have you seen the colourful potteries? There are bowls, coffee mugs, dinner sets, vases, resting spoons, etc available at several different stores
San Gimignano is very famous for its wonderful ceramics works. There are many shops along Via San Giovanni where you can find plates, vases, potteries and much more. All of them are hand painted. A piece of pottery from San Gimignano certainly is a nice memento to take back home to remember this fantastic town.
Shopping for leather purses in San Gimignano is also very enjoyable. The selection of leather purses here is unlimited! Like Florence, San Gimignano offers a variety of stores with a huge selection of different kinds of leather purses, belt bags, shoulder bags, wallets, attaché cases, belts, travelling bags, backpacks, book covers, coin purses, etc.
I have visited San Gimignano many times arriving each time by a different method. My first visits were by coach. I have also taken the sita bus from the Florence main train station to Poggibonsi where you change buses. We had a half hour wait which was plenty of time for a coffee and pastry and then we hopped on the bus which took us up to San Gimignano. The entire trip took us about 2 hours. The last time I was there I drove our rental car from Bagni di Lucca which took about 2 hours. It was an easy drive and upon arrival we found parking very easily as there were lots of parking spaces.
If you have the time to spend a night or more in San Gimignano you will see a different side of this lovely hilltop town. Once the coaches and the many tourists have gone you can enjoy the quietness. Stop by one of the many restaurants with a view and enjoy a cold one overlooking the beautiful Tuscan Hills. I have dined at several restaurants here and can easily say that I have never been disappointed.