The San Gimignano reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Apr-2004
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San Gimignano

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San Gimignano is a little town in Tuscany, Italy. It's mainly famous for its medieval architecture, when a sort of race developed between rich families, to build the tallest tower in the city.

As a result, the medieval centre is now filled with about 50 towers of varying height. The modern town is some kilometres out and is not affected by this race anymore.

San Gimignano is also famous for its Torture museum, with a display of instruments and devices for torture in various times and places, complete with multi-lingual descriptions of their use.