Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di San Gimignano)
Sitting next to San Gimignano’s medieval Town Hall (Palazzo Comunale) on Piazza Duomo, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta is a highlight of walking or Vespa scooter tours through this atmospheric town known for its unique skyline punctuated by more than a dozen historic towers. See this and other landmarks like the Large Tower (Torre Grossa) and Cistern Square (Piazza della Cisterna), admire the medieval city walls, and explore the ruins of the 16th-century fortress on a private or small-group tour while learning about the history of this town that was once an important stop along the ancient Via Francigena.
Sightseeing in San Gimignano is often combined with a wine tour and tasting to sample the area’s prestigious reds and whites, or can be paired with a tour of Siena, Pisa, or the Chianti wine country. Consider booking a private photo shoot for a unique memento of your visit against the backdrop of the Tuscan countryside.
Things to know before you go
- Wear modest attire covering shoulders and knees when visiting the church.
- If you take a walking tour of the town or the surrounding vineyards, choose comfortable shoes and wear a hat and sunscreen in summer.
- Photography is allowed inside the church; bring a camera with a zoom feature to capture the fresco details.
- The church is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to get there
The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta is located in Piazza Duomo in the historic center of San Gimignano and can only be reached on foot or by Vespa scooter in this largely pedestrian-only town. San Gimignano is an easy day trip from Florence, Pisa, Siena, and the Chianti wine country.
When to get there
San Gimignano is a popular day trip from many larger Tuscan cities, and can be very crowded on the weekends and holidays. Time your visit for a weekday morning to beat the bus tours and daytrippers.
Highlights of the The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di San Gimignano)
The headliner in San Gimignano’s Duomo is the striking frescoes depicting biblical scenes including the story of Cain and Abel, Noah’s Ark, the Garden of Eden, and dramatic renderings of heaven and hell. Highlights include works by Bartolo di Fredi, Lippo Memmi, Benozzo Gozzoli, and Taddeo di Bartolo. Adjoining the church, the small Museum of Sacred Art (Museo d'Arte Sacra) houses a collection of artworks taken from the Duomo and other local churches, including a Crucifix by Benedetto di Maiano and the Madonna of the Rose by Bartolo di Fredi. Be sure to visit the Duomo’s Chapel of Santa Fina, a Renaissance masterpiece by architect Giuliano da Maiano, sculptor Benedetto da Maiano, and painter Domenico Ghirlandaio.
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