town, west-central Toscana (Tuscany) regione (region), central Italy. It lies about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Siena. Originally called "City of Silva," it later took its name from the Bishop of Modena (d. 397), who liberated the town from a barbarian invasion. An independent republic in the Middle Ages, San Gimignano was dominated by two powerful, continually feuding families, the Ardinghelli (Guelf) and the Salvucci (Ghibelline). In 1352, its finances exhausted, the city placed itself under Florence
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