San Gimignano is situated on a hill overlooking the Elsa river valley. This city is famous for the characteristic outline of its towers (so that it has been nicknamed the "Manhattan of the Middle Ages"). San Gimignano is a Unesco World Heritage Site because of its typical medieval architecture: in fact its urban structure, on a human scale, has inestimable value for environmental, artistic and historical reasons. The town began its history around the tenth century, taking its name from the Holy Bishop of Modena, San Gimignano, who, according to tradition, saved the village from the barbarian hordes of Attila. In medieval times San Gimignano, thanks to being located along the Via Francigena, which led every year millions of pilgrims to Rome, saw a great development and an extraordinary flourishing of works of art that adorned its churches and monasteries. The strong economy allowed the creation of an urban aristocracy, that expressed his political and social supremacy by building towers (in the fourteenth century their number came to 72, of which today only 14 remain). The terrible plague of 1348 and the subsequent depopulation caused a serious crisis in the town, which gradually led to its final submission to Florence. Already in the Middle Ages the countryside surrounding the city was famous for its fine wines and the rich production of saffron. Even today, the Vernaccia of San Gimignano is one of the finest white wines: known and appreciated throughout the world, it has been the first Italian wine to receive the mark of Designation of Origin in 1966.