Nestled in the province of Siena, Monteriggioni represents one of the most important walled castles in the territory. The quintessential medieval Tuscan village was built on a hill by the Sienese in the 13th century so the inhabitants could protect the front line from their rivals, the Florentines. It has an incredibly well-preserved structure. Its circular layout of the walls was built simply following the sketch of the ground’s curves of the level. Monteriggioni was the typical fortified village that started its life as a castle since the beginning of 1200.
It is possible to combine the visit with Castellina in Chianti or Siena in one day. It is also easily reachable from Florence. To look around the place, it takes only less than an hour. However, you can spend some time to relax there. But if you want to join some local events, you could easily spend hours there.
On the way to Castellina in Chianti one day during our 9-day trip to Tuscany, we spent two hours in this town and did a couple of things:
- The towers and gates
- Church of Santa Maria Assunta
- Museum “Monteriggioni in Arme”
- Walk along the intact walls
- Monteriggioni Medieval festival
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The towers and gates
There are fourteen towers and two gates in the town. One gate is called the Franca or Romea Gate, which faces Rome, and the other is known as the Florentine Gate, which heads toward Florence. Over the year, for unknown reasons, some of the towers were lower than before.
The town is very touristic. And, even during the summertime, there were not so many visitors over there. Some corners were so silent and looked very romantic. The town is not big and only consists of a few streets. You can combine the visit with another medieval town with many towers, San Gimignano, by joining the tour to see Tuscany in one day. The tour includes the journey to Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Chianti.
Church of Santa Maria Assunta
After entering the village through the main gate, I saw the Piazza Roma and the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. This church was built in 1213, the year Monteriggioni was also established. It is a simple and elegant church that fits well in the lovely castle town. We could enter freely on that day. Some interesting frescoes have been partially restored. In my opinion, its outside looks very good. The stone arch at the entrance is beautiful.
Museum “Monteriggioni in Arme”
In addition to the church, the museum Monteriggioni in Arme is where you can have fun with the armors. You can even try some on, a special treat for amour enthusiasts. The museum displays samples that illustrate the techniques used for battles over the centuries. It has some information on the battles that occurred in the area.
Walk along the intact walls
The cobbled stone street and stone houses haven’t seen much change over the passing centuries, and its walls are still intact. The walkway to the walls was added recently. However, when we were, there the walls were being repaired. Otherwise, we could even take a short walk on the complex structure.
Monteriggioni Medieval festival
From the local posters, we learned about the festival. The Medieval Festival takes place on three weekends during July each year. It represents the image of Monteriggioni’s cultural heritage. The main purpose is to increasing the flow of tourists as well as enhancing local development. When the event takes place, all locals will involve in activities.
The main activities of the festival are such as concerts, banquets, theaters. Visitors can buy tickets online. All programs end at midnight. Therefore, to participate in the event, it is suggested to stay locally, either in Monteriggioni such as Romantik Hotel Monteriggioni, or near the place.
Where to stay
The Romantik Hotel Monteriggioni is set in the heart of the walled medieval town of Monteriggioni. It features a large garden with a swimming pool and olive trees.
Each guest room has a unique design, and all come with air conditioning and satellite TV. Guests can enjoy breakfast out in the garden when the weather is warm. The Hotel also features a large lounge and a bar. There is also a private car park on site. The hotel can be found on the following platforms.
How to get there
The easiest way to reach Monteriggioni is by car and exit at Monteriggioni. However, trains, buses or even taxis are also available. Please check the connections at rome2rio.com.