Parking in San Gimignano?

Apr 1st, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 66
Parking in San Gimignano?

We will be staying a night at La Cisterna in the heart of San Gimignano. Is it better to drive into the city and drop off our lugguage first, or should we just park at the nearest parking lot and walk (and roll our luggage) from there? Are we allowed to drive into the city without a permit?
BrentA100 is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 12:43 PM
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What has La Cisterna told you about parking? We stayed at Leon Bianco right across from La Cisterna and they provided parking in their garage. For our arrival we just drove through the city gate and slowly through the crowds to the square and our hotel without a permit. We had our confirmation letter handy in case anyone would stop us, but no one did.

I'd email your hotel and ask them specifically what to do.

It would be a very long and steep pull with your luggage from any of the parking lots I'm familiar with outside the "walls".
Apr 1st, 2006, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 547
I would email your hotel and ask what you should do. Some of the towns allow you to come in and drop off your luggage, but you have to park outside the walls.
2Italy is offline  
Apr 1st, 2006, 12:58 PM
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We have not stayed at La Cisterna for about 10 years, so things may have changed.

The first time we were there, they sent us a permit and a map on how to get into the town and to their hotel "the back way". We did that, dropped off the bags, and then went back and parked the car outside of town.

The second time, we decided to just drive through the main entrance (not the "back way"). A police officer stopped us and told us we could not go any farther. We showed him our reservation letter. He still told us we could not go any farther. I went farther anyway and he beat on my hood a few times. I got the message and went in the direction he told me to go. I then went the "back way" again - hoping I remembered it correctly from the last time.

E-mail La Cisterna and get a permit (if it's still necessary) and a map of how to get there "the back way". They also suggested that we park overnight in the gaurded lot just outside of town.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 11:33 AM
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You definitely want to drive to La Cisterna to drop your luggage and then park the car. The parking lots,just outside the walls, are not far, but you won't want to trundle your luggage up the cobblestone street.

P. S. On the way up the hill from the parking lot , we discovered "LA Ristorante Stella" which was great. Unpretentious, relaxed, great food, and a very good price performer.
Apr 2nd, 2006, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
Well, we went and back out in the back way, and the side street to our hotel (the Belsoggiorno) was definitely the most narrow street we ever drove on in Italy. We turned in both the side mirrors and just barely made it out through the hordes of visitors. We then parked in a lot close to the main gate. The Belsoggiorno is close to the gate, so when we left, we just dragged our suitcases. Much easier.

By the way, our room in the Belsoggiorno shared a terrace with a wonderful view. That's where we spent our time til the hordes left.
Mimar is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 02:33 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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La Cisterna has a map with driving instructions but they are a little hard to read. It's at It's hard to make out the street names, but I am cross-referencing them with maps from Michelin and Mappy. I'm assuming the "back way" in is to come from the North? And then I go back out the same way? Thanks for the's going to be my first time driving in Italy, so I am trying to get as much info as possible ahead of time. Cheers!
BrentA100 is offline  

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