Monteriggioni is an ancient medieval village located inside a castle built on a small hill called Ala, 10 km from Siena and a few km from Colle di Val d’Elsa, San Gimignano and Castellina in Chianti.
The construction of the walls, dating back to 1214, had the main purpose of absolute surveillance and control of the Via Francigena, in the stretches of the Val d’Elsa and the Staggia, to face the attacks of the historic rivals of Florence.
Monteriggioni has maintained over the years the almost complete integrity of its structure and has required restoration work between the 20s and 30s of the 20th century, affecting only 2 of the 14 towers surrounding the wall perimeter.
This is a source of great pride for the citizens who can claim a priceless historical heritage.
Thanks also to other factors, such as good communication, a propensity of tourism to be experiential and no longer mass, Monteriggioni is experiencing a period of great splendor hosting every year many tourists from all over the world.
It is easy to understand how one can remain magically fascinated by this small castle, with few buildings inside it, with few roads and activities that must keep up with an ever increasing number of tourists.
Even Dante Alighieri was struck by the almost millenary fortress and during the battle between Siena and Florence, he was inspired by comparing the gigantic towers to the appearance of Nembrotto, Fialte and Anteo, who were the giants stuck in the chasm of Malebolgia. In fact, during his descent into the ninth circle of La Divina Commedia he wrote “Monteriggioni di torri si corona”
The legends surrounding the historic castle also hint at secret tunnels and underground passages which, according to history, would go as far as nearby Siena.
On Monteriggioni there is not much to say but much to discover.
Things to see / do:
• Walk on the walls
• Visit the church of Santa Maria Assunta
• Monteriggioni Festival of towers crowns itself
• Monteriggioni in Arme Museum
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