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See the Tower houses of San Gimignano, Italy

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Tower houses of San Gimignano, Italy

San Gimignano, a small town in the Province of Sienna in Tuscany, Italy, is, of course, famous for its tower houses. At its peak, the richest families of San Gimignano had erected as many as 72 tower houses as symbols of their wealth and power. Today, fourteen of these towers remain. Something that not every visitor to Tuscany realises is that tower houses were not unique to San Gimignano. In fact, every town and village in Tuscany had one or more - many more, in some cases. In addition, towers houses were built at intervals around many towns as defensive outworks and along the shifting frontiers between the territories of the dominant towns. The rural towers were usually incorporated into a farmhouse since the towers were manned only in case of need. For the remainder of the time, the occupants had to earn their living or at least grow there food. The observant visitor to Tuscany will soon see that a great many of these tower houses exist although often with their towers are not as tall as they once were. A good example of a fortified farmhouse is Cassero di Grignano located on the road between Castellina and Panzano. By paying a bit of attention, it is also easy to discern the tower houses incorporated into the defensive architecture of villages such as Montefioralle.

Tower houses in the walls of Montefioralle

Tower houses in the walls of Montefioralle

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