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Monteriggioni

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Monteriggioni is a commune in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany. It borders on the communes of Casole d'ElsaCastellina in ChiantiCastelnuovo BerardengaColle di Val d'ElsaPoggibonsiSiena and Sovicille.

Understand

On a small natural hillock, this completely walled medieval town in the Siena Province of Tuscany was built in the 13th century by the overlords of Siena to command the Cassia Road running through the Val d'Elsa and Val Staggia just to the west of Monteriggioni. Today, the town of Monteriggioni is the principal center in the modern Comune of Monteriggioni which encompasses 19.49 square kilometers in the area around the town. Distances from other major towns and cities are: Siena 15 km; Volterra - 39 km; Florence 50 km; Pisa 157 km; Lucca - 123 km; Arezzo - 121 km; Rome - 250 km

Except for some work done in the 16th century, very little work has been done to Monteriggioni's walls or buildings since they were first erected. Monteriggioni's walls and the buildings that make up the town are the best preserved example of their kind in all of Italy, so it is not surprising that it attracts buses full of tourists, but also architects, historians and archaeologists.

The more or less circular walls with a total length of about 570 metres were built between 1213 and 1219, following the natural contours of the hill. There are fourteen towers on square bases set at equi-distance, and two portals or gates. One gate, the Porta Fiorentina, opens toward Florence to the north, and the other, the Porta Romana, faces Rome to the south. The main street within the walls connects the two gates in a more or less straight line.

The main piazza, the Piazza Roma, is dominated by a Romanesque church with a simple, plain facade. Other houses, some in the Renaissance-style, once owned by local nobles, gentry and wealthy merchants facing into the piazza. Off the main piazza smaller streets give way to public gardens fronted by the other houses and small businesses of the town. In more hostile times, these gardens provided vital sustenance when enemies gathered without.

The town is featured in the Assassin's Creed video game series.

Get in

By plane

The nearest international airport is 1 Florence Airport (FLR IATA) which is about 65 km (40 mi) away. Alternatively there is 2 Pisa International Airport (PSA IATA), around 120 km (75 mi) away.

By car

Monteriggioni is located a short distance from Overpass Florence - Siena . Convenient parking places are located in the immediate vicinity of the town which is also within walking distance. Note that although the town is on a hill access is virtually free of architectural barriers.

Get around

The town is very small and easily walkable. However it's recommended to have a car to visit the attractions outside of the town's walls.

See

  • Wall walkways. You can climb up two sections of the town's perimeter wall for beautiful views of the Tuscan countryside. €3 (includes admission to the arms museum). (updated Oct 2019)
  • 1 Chiesa di Santa Maria (Church of St Mary), Piazza Roma, 23, ☏ +39 0577 304214. The town's church. It has a simple facade, but is a strong part of the town's beautiful masonry. Donations welcome. (updated Oct 2016)
  • 2 Monteriggioni in Arme (Armour Museum), Via I Maggio, 1. Small museum dedicated to medieval weaponry. There are copies of chain mail, helmets and weapons that you can try on. €3 (includes admission to the walls). (updated Oct 2019)

Do

Wineries

  • 1 Casa Vinicola Bartali, Strada dell'Abate 3, ☏ +39 0577 304049, ✉ bartali@bartalivini.it. 08:00-12:00, 14:00-18:00. Producing wines and olive oil since 1927. Local store open during office hours. Visits and degustations by appointment outside office hours. 

Wine tours

  • 2Be Travel Designers (Chianti Wine Tour), ☏ +39 334 9363263, ✉ info@2beinsiena.com. A journey discovering the wineries of the Chianti, which introduces the visitor to both the area's age-old wine-producing traditions and the latest, most innovative vineyard technology. Behind each and every twist in the road we are greeted by landscapes dotted with small chapels, castles, and medieval villages all of which more than worthy of visit. A professional service offered by licensed drivers speaking English. 
  • Chianti Wine Tour Adventure, ✉ info@winetouradventure.com. During the morning, the tour visits a winery to learn about wine making process and Chianti production rules. At the end of the visit, you will taste Tuscan wines as Chianti Classico, Chianti Classico Riserva, Supertuscan, and grappa, as well as a selection of fantastic local olive oils. Afterwards, they'll move to the winery restaurant for lunch. Professional tours are led by expert and licensed drivers speaking English. 

Festivals

  • Monteriggioni di Torri si Corona (Medieval Festival of Monteriggioni). The town has its annual medieval festival in July. Varies, child (under 7): free. (updated Feb 2017)

Buy

Eat

  • 1 Il Pozzo (The Well), Piazza Roma, 20, ☏ +39 0577 304127, ✉ ilpozzo@ilpozzo.net. M closed, Tu-Sa 12:15–15:00, 19:30–22:00, Su 12:15–15:00. (updated Oct 2016)

Drink

Sleep

  • 1 Ferienhaus Monteriggioni, Via I Maggio, 4, ☏ +39 0577 305009, ✉ info@hotelmonteriggioni.net. (updated Oct 2016)

Connect

Go next

  • Siena
  • Florence
  • Montepulciano – Another hillside town, known for its wine production.


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