Visiting San Gimignano is like a dream that takes us back in time. Passing through the enchanting streets of ‘The city of fine towers’ gives off indescribable emotions because you have the distinct sensation of reliving the days of the medieval period. Narrow and picturesque alleyways, refined buildings, artisan shops, artistic testimonies of more than one-thousand years of history. All this and more in San Gimignano. We’re in the heart of Tuscany on the top of a hill that overlooks the Elsa Valley, in a small town born during Etruscan times and surrounded by nature. The presence of Via Francigena, which crossed the city from north to south during the Medieval Ages and the numerous ‘salt routes’ have historically contributed to the economic development of the city, mainly based on the trade of two excellent products: Saffron and Vernaccia, the famous white wine from this area. During the Middle Ages, San Gimignano experienced a period in which was enriched by amazing works of art and stupendous architecture. Due to the black plague in 1348, however, the city had to succumb to the power of Florence. Despite this period of marginality and decline, over the next centuries San Gimignano was able to rediscover its splendor, recovering its former global attention, and as such today this enchanting little town is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Hotel Relais Santa Chiara composes a big part of San Gimignano’s recent history and its social and economic fabric. The hotel’s elegant ambience that today we can see, was, in the past, the workplace of the skilled hands of local artisans. The structure came about in the early years of the ‘60s in the form of a manufacturing company, a flagship for the production of fabrics like dowries and fine nightwear. The manufacturing of textiles in San Gimignano is a centuries-old tradition, and the local women were in fact once famous for their dexterous embroidery skills. Even today, an attention to fabrics and to the taste of Italian tradition characterizes the hotel’s style, one that is both elegant and classic that will welcome you into its refined environment. Owing to an elegant process of restructuration, the entire building has been converted into a charming hotel, privileging the use of typically Tuscan materials terracotta, local stone, and hickory. The refinement and attention to detail can be noticed beginning from the rooms, where the refined upholstery embellishes the cozy and welcoming atmosphere. The Hotel Relais Santa Chiara is a relaxing place of the most human dimensions, welcoming, relaxing, in full harmony with San Gimignano and its territory.