San Gimignano is a small village in the Tuscany countryside, known for its ancient towers. Born in medieval times through the fusion of two small villages, the towns’ importance grew once it became a major business centre in the Tenth Century. The towns’ economy grew rapidly, leading to the prosperity of several merchant families that were based there. During this golden period, San Gimignano bore witness to an intense period of building activity as several powerful families sought to build towers as a sign of their prosperity; the higher the tower, the greater their wealth. A total of 72 towers were commissioned, but this productive period was brought to an abrupt end in 1348 when the bubonic plague that had spread across Europe hit the village; A disaster from which it never recovered.
Today, only 13 of 72 towers remain in a town that has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.