San Gimignano – The terrifying collection of the Medieval Criminal Museum

Museo della Tortura

A visit to the most famous turreted city in the world cannot fail to include a stop at the San Gimignano Medieval Criminal Museum, a few steps from the characteristic Piazza della Cisterna, in the centre of town.

Here can be found one of the most unnerving museum expositions in the world with more than 100 instruments and atrocious machines used for torture and to apply the death penalty. The small Museum winds through rooms and narrow corridors and tells the dramatic and terrifying story of medieval torture and its worst dark side. Next to the displayed objects and instruments are documents that date back to the Inquisition, the ecclesiastical institution founded by the Catholic Church to investigate and punish the supporters of theories that were considered contrary to the church through a special court. In the Medieval Criminal Museum, visitors can see famous devices such as the “Iron Maiden”, “guillotine”, “rack”, “interrogation chair” and “chastity belt”, but also lesser known and equally macabre devices such as the “heretic’s fork”, “flute of shame”, “skinning cat”, “Spanish spider” and many others that make up the collection and that highlight the perversion and horrifying human imagination in an era linked to a history of pain, torture and excruciating death.

Museo Criminale Medioevale di San Gimignano                                                                              via Porta San Giovanni, 123 – 53037 San Gimignano

Open every day from 10 am to 7 pm – In wintertime only on Saturdays and Sundays

Tickets: Full-price € 10,00; reduced € 6,00; groups € 4,00

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