As the countryside prepares to roll out of the fall and head into the winter, saffron blooms in Tuscany – the promise of a precious touch used in applications as diverse as cooking and art, medicine and fabric dying. Over the centuries, San Gimignano established its role as the center for the cultivation of this spice, with records dating as far ba...

n the sun-drenched Sienese hills of the Val d’Elsa stands the gorgeous hilltown of San Gimignano, a splendorous Medieval atmosphere enwrapped by its 13th-Century wall. It is the Tuscany that tourists love most, set amidst fields of golden grain, vineyards and ancient borgoes; it is the Tuscany of Chianti and the Val D'Orcia, of beloved culinary tra...