Monteggiori is located in the region of Tuscany. It is approximately 81km away from Florence and around 31km From Lucca or Pisa. The village is not a well-visited hilltop village and even unknown to many people. It is not far from the coastal area of Versilia and Pietrasanta. However, it is not without engaging facts.
We stayed in this village during our trip to Tuscany. Having stayed there for seven nights, we felt like being home there. Every day, we ate a typical Tuscany breakfast prepared by the owner. The owner was once a Chef and later a professional poker player. We also ate dinners in a famous local restaurant and explored the tiny village as well.
The name Montegiori means ‘little mountain’. It situates on the slope of the Apuan Alps over the plain and the beaches of Versilia. It is even presumed to have Etruscan origins, and its layout is in the shape of a fish, harking back to the Hellenistic tradition of the Acropoli.
The village was mentioned the first time in a document from 1224. The fortified medieval village had an important role during the Middle Ages. It was built in a strategic position dominating the plain and the coastal area.
Friendly residents and cute cats
It was in the late afternoon. Some local inhabitants sat outside their house, chatting with each other. People were so friendly that everyone greeted us, “Buon Giorno”.
Strolling on the narrow street, we spotted many cats. Their skin colours were so similar to the cobbled-stones and the old stone walls. If I weren’t careful, I would have stepped into several sleeping cats. And, there seemed to have more cats than inhabitants.
Old houses have colored pots of flowers placed in front of their doors. One local man, who saw us busy picturing the village, invited us to his house for a picture. The entrance of his house looks so narrow, but inside the house, it is very spacious. It includes a big kitchen, several rooms from left to right, and a large open terrace, with a panorama view of the flat land and the sea. WOW!
The main square in Monteggiori
The main square is Piazza degli artisti. Surrounded by old houses, the church of Saint Stephen dominated the small market square. The only business in this remote village is the famous restaurant and bar Le Tre Terrazze. which offers delicious homemade food. During the day, the restaurant was closed. Around 17:00 pm, the staff from the restaurant started to prepare for the evening business. The corner also got lively, and more residents came around.
Monteggiori is so silent and quiet. Walking into the village feels like back to the past. It is so tranquil that, for the moment, all those daily chaos were far behind me. The village is of no doubt an off the beaten path village of northern Tuscany. If you have a beach holiday near Versilia beach, it is a place to escape the beach crowds for a couple of hours.
Things to know when eating in the local restaurant
You have to book a table at least a few days before since it is always busy. And, if you drive there, make sure to arrive earlier enough to get a parking place.
How to get there
Follow the SR439 and then turn toward Monteggiori via the small street Via Rotaio. The bus passes the village is not frequent . The best way is to rent a car and drive there.
The only way to access the village is on foot. There is a small car park next to the graveyard. A path along the ancient defensive wall leads the way up to the village.