Porta San Matteo, which is reached using the main road, is more typical of San Gimignano. Via San Matteo takes its name from this gate.
The road was the section of the Francigena that passed through the city from the north to the south. Bit by bit, an entire neighbourhood grew around this road. The buildings alongside it today are almost all from the 13th century, offering a fascinating glimpse of the city at it would have appeared in the Middle Ages.
Porta di San Matteo was built in 1262 in the Sienese style. After crossing through it, there awaits a fascinating tour of houses, palazzos, and medieval towers. Located along the Via di San Matteo are the splendid Pesciolini House-Tower, a cropped tower from the thirteenth century; the beautiful Chiesa di San Bartolo; the Cancelleria Palazzo; the Torri Gemelle dei Salvucci; arriving finally at the Piazza della Cisterna.