Inhabited since the 8th century B.C, as proven by the settlements discovered at Campassini and the vast Etruscan necropolis of Casone, the communal region of Monteriggioni preserves numerous testimonies of the past. The main points of interest are the Castle of Monteriggioni and the nearby Abbadia Isola, but the entire area is punctuated by castles, parish churches, villas and small villages, immersed in a countryside whose beauty remains unspoilt. The different locations can almost always be reached by car, but we recommend that you discover them on foot, bicycle or horseback, using one of the many nature trails available.
Situated at the northern end of the region, Monteriggioni occupies the peak of a small, rolling hill covered with cultivated slopes, vineyards and olives.
The castle was founded in the second decade of the thirteenth century by the Republic of Siena, with the purpose of creating a defence outpost against its rival Florence. For centuries the settlement carried out the function for which it was created, repelling a multitude of sieges and attacks. Inhabited by soldiers and many civilian families, from the middle of the sixteenth century its military function ceased when the entire Sienese state, to which our village belonged, was annexed to the Florentine state.
Much of the XIII century structure remains which makes Monteriggioni utterly unique in the panorama of medieval Tuscan villages. Its more or less circular walls, which embrace the peak of the hill, are constructed over roughly 570 metres and crowned with fourteen towers that rise up from the external surface. Their majesty must have been so impressive in the Middle Ages that Dante used the turrets as the famous simile for the giants encircling the infernal abyss in his Divine Comedy “as with circling round of turrets / Monteriggion crowns his walls/ E’en thus the shore, encompassing the abyss/ was turreted with giants”. The village sheltered within the walls can be accessed through two gates (a third has been constructed) and centres around a large rectangular square looked over by the parish of S. Maria Assunta. This building is the best example of the preservation of medieval features, even if in the entire area with its characteristic alley ways, there are many houses that exhibit their ancient origin.
Monteriggioni brochure and map in PDF format »