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Review 3330: Gira! Italian Vacation Rentals, Torre di San Gimignano


Review by Andrew from US

2bed/1.5 bath tower in San Gimignano, Tuscany West


May, 2007, 1 week


UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are the places that are celebrated for their natural beauty or for the breathtaking accomplishments of our species. The Tuscan hilltop village of San Gimignano makes this rarefied list because of its medieval towers, 14 of which have survived since the 13th century. Busloads of tourists flock to see these towers. Some even venture to the top of the one that is open to the public. Very, very few stay in Torre di San Gimignano.

This tower is one of the paired Torre di Salvucci, which sits adjacent to the main piazza of the village, and it has been converted into a truly unique apartment. The insides of these towers are not spacious, only about three meters by three meters, so each floor of the tower is a single room. After climbing several flights of stairs to get to the entrance of the apartment, the floors are a foyer, a kitchenette/dining area, a seating area, the main bath, another seating area, a bedroom with staggered bunk beds, another bedroom with a full bed, a study area, a last seating area with another small bath tucked under the stairs, a small kitchenette, and then finally, a private rooftop deck. Indeed, access to the top of the tower is perhaps the best feature. We enjoyed several Tuscan sunsets from up there, well above the hubbub of the tourists below.

Clearly, this rental is not for the faint of heart or the weak of knee, and privacy is in short supply (an open stairwell is all that separates the two bedrooms), but the experience of staying in a 700+ year-old tower is truly memorable. The value is also fantastic; the nightly cost is comparable to, if not better than, staying in a hotel.

We rented the Tower through Gira! Italian Vacation Rentals, and they were very helpful and responsive. The owner of the Tower was also a delight, leaving fresh flowers, a bowl of fruit, and a bottle of local vine on our arrival.

The best way to see San Gimignano is to stay overnight, which allows you to see the hill town when the buses have left for the evening. And I can think of no better place to stay than Torre di San Gimignano.

You can view the property directly: Torre di San Gimignano.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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