Crumbling walls of Tuscan hill town trigger warnings over Italy’s treasured architecture; John Phillips; Telegraph

Italy – Historic Centre of San Gimignano

The mayor of the medieval Tuscan hill town of San Gimignano says the Unesco world heritage site is being neglected by Italy’s central government after a 65ft stretch of its surrounding 13th century walls collapsed without warning following heavy rainfall.

San Gimignano, described sometimes as a ‘medieval Manhattan’ with its cluster of 13 soaring towers built by the rival Guelph and Ghibelline dynasties, is a popular stop for British tourists in easy reach of Siena.  As many as three million tourists from around the world visit each year.

Giacomo Bassi, the mayor, is furious that central government, because of cuts on local councils, will not allow him to spend some of the millions of reserves in the municipal bank account for upkeep of its monuments.

Repairs had been started recently on other stretches of the walls around San Gimignano that were considered more at risk of erosion. But a recent spate of wet weather undermined foundations in an unexpected area setting off the collapse on Tuesday afternoon of a section of 20 ft walls, local officials said.

Read more from source: Crumbling walls of Tuscan hill town trigger warnings over Italy’s treasured architecture

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