UPDATE: Due to renovations, the Museum San Gimignano 1300 will be closed from 5th November 2012. The opening is scheduled for next spring. San Gimignano is representative of many towns in Tuscany's history and it's one of the few to retain a good number of its medieval towers. But even this city looked different 700 years ago. Now you can visualize it better in a new museum dedicated to San Gimignano in the year 1300: SanGimignano1300. The centerpiece of this space that opened this Spring is a to-scale model of the town. Architects, historians, and a team of artists worked nearly 3 years to create this model with 800 meticulously handcrafted structures, 72 towers, street scenes, and figurines in the most accurate way possible. The exhibit's various sections are particularly useful for families who wish to get a little history into their kids in a fun and multimedia-enhanced way. The sections of the museum are:
- “Via Francigena”: A detailed graphic presentation of the Via Francigena and its spiritual and economic importance;
- “The City Of Beautiful Towers”: The reconstruction of the entire town of San Gimignano as it existed in 1300, at the height of its artistic splendour. Each of the 800 structures and 72 towers are faithfully recreated and done entirely by hand using natural pigments and terracotta. Over a ton of clay from the local quarry of Montelupo was used. It has been praised and admired by the City of San Gimignano and UNESCO.
- “Inside The Tower”: The reconstruction of an architecturally sectioned tower-house;
- “A Day In The City”: Staged and historically accurate scenes of medieval life;
- “Timeline”: Hand drawn panels detailing the history of San Gimignano, from the Etruscan age to the present day with an in-depth focus on the medieval period. Visual projection area of documentaries concerning the life and customs of medieval Tuscany;
- “Outside The Walls”: Hand crafted scenes of medieval life outside the city walls;
- “Palace life”: A three dimensional reconstruction of a XIV Fresco by Memmo Filippuccio done entirely in ceramic;
- The reconstruction of the Convent of San Francesco, completely demolished in the 16th Century;
- “Multimedia Areas”: Information on each developmental phase of the museum exhibit and in-depth historical and scientific aspects of medieval Tuscany.