2.A.6. Torre Chigi, San Gimignano, Italy

Among the Best of San Gimignano is The Torre Chigi (Left). I wonder what is special about this tower. It is a tower, although not high belonged to Chigi Family I wonder what is inside an elongated residence of a rich clan. The first floor is accessed by stairs. Family preferred to sleep secure withdrawing the first floor.

In 1280 AD it was caled the Useppi Tower. The Useppi were very powerful sienese citizens, owners of many castels. When the noble Useppi family became extinct, the heirs who took the properties of the noble family were the family called Chigi-Saracini in Sienna.

In 2002 the Cilemmi-Giachi family bought this tower. Pierluigi Giachi is the owner and Winemaker in Tenuta Torciano Winery, an Award-Winning winery in San Gimignano.

2.A.5. Medieval Interrogation Chair

Permanent Exhibit at Museo della Tortura, San Gimignano, Italy.

Ancient instruments of torture.

This exhibit includes images and words, a unique world-wide collection: 100 instruments produced for causing pain and death.

It shows exceptionally rare pieces dated back to the 16th, 17th and 18th century and more recent reconstructions of ancient and lost instruments.

Very well known instruments such as the Iron Maiden, the Guillotine, the Rack, the Interrogation Chair and the Chastity Belt, the Heretic’s Fork to the Noise-maker’s fifes, to the Gatta da Scorticamento to the Spanish Spiders, these instruments prove how human imagination and sophisticated intelligence had no limit in finding new ways to inflict the most atrocious and cruel tortures.

Photo: An interrogation chair.

2.A.3. Piazza della Cisterna

Piazza della Cisterna is a piazza (plaza) in San Gimignano, Italy. The pavement is brick and the piazza is surrounded by houses, workshops, taverns and medieval towers. The piazza was used as a market and a stage for festivals and tournaments. Its current layout dates from the thirteenth century.

In the middle there is an octagonal travertine well that gives the name to the square. The well was built in 1273.

In the dark ages, criminals were executed here.

2.A.2. The Arco and Torre dei Becci

In medieval times the tower was the higher symbol of power, mainly because the building process was not simple or cheap at all. Materials needed to be dug and transferred to town, and the building site arranged. Only the richest families of merchants and moneylenders could afford the works of construction.

La Torre dei Becci is one of the fourteen surviving towers of San Gimignano. It is located near the ancient Arco dei Becci as seen here.

Becci I were a family of merchants who held important public positions in the heyday of the City of San Gimignano. This is their home. The ground floor consisted of workshops, the second floor were the bedrooms and the higher level of the kitchen.

The entrance, the Arch of Becci leading to the Tower of Becci.

2.A.1. Wild Boar Meat Delicacy – Prosciutto

Prosciutto is an Italian dry-cured ham that is usually thinly sliced and served uncooked; this style is called prosciutto crudo in Italian (or simply crudo) and is distinguished from cooked ham, prosciutto cotto.

The process of making prosciutto can take from nine months to two years, depending on the size of the ham and is hung in a dark, well-ventilated environment.

During winter months hunters hunt for wild boars. Wild boar meat is a provincial delicacy.

I like prosciutto with salad. Macaroni Grill makes an excellent salad with this meat and the combination of balsamic dressing and the saltiness of the prosciutto just explodes in my mouth. As they say, “just had a party in my mouth!”

2.A. Best of San Gimignano, Italy

Our Best of Italy trip included a medieval city in the Province of Siena, Region of Tuscany.

San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town. Known as the Town of Fine Towers. Two centuries of conflict resulted in families’ building tower houses of increasing height. San Gimignano has managed to conserve fourteen towers of varying heights, for which it is known internationally. In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century.

I am grateful I was born in the 19th century and my future is in the 21st century where there is freedom, less oppression and the valued Constitution of the United States of America. Not to mention anaesthesia.

The entire Middle Ages were often referred to as the “Dark Ages”. There were unnecessary deaths. Peasant revolts owing rent and hard labor to the nobles. Religious wars in the name of the Crusades and corruption in the papacy. Controversy, heresy, inter-state conflict, civil strife that occurred in the kingdoms. It has left a bitter taste in my mouth.