It is believed that in the past there were at least 72 tower-houses, although
only 14 have survived. Several of the towers
reached a height of more than 150 feet and their height reflected
status, as well as the degree of defensive protection. The ancient San Gimignanoans must have had hearty constitutions to climb the stairs
of their tower homes. In a more serious note, the city is
beautiful during the day, but especially so at night when the towers are
San Gimignano's towers were well fortified. The small openings in
the sides of the towers allowed hot oil to be poured onto any
invaders attempting access. Openings at lower levels served as
"stabbing-holes" for use with spears and swords.
Sometimes we forget that towns such as San Gimignano are home to
others. Here we see a harp set outside a residence by a player
who has taken a timeout for an caffe espresso.
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