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Discover Magical Monteriggioni on a Tuscany Day Trip From Florence by Laura Jeeves

Discover Magical Monteriggioni on a Tuscany Day Trip From Florence by
Article Posted: 07/15/2021
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Articles Written: 4666
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Discover Magical Monteriggioni on a Tuscany Day Trip From Florence

Art and Culture,Travel & Tourism
On any Tuscany day trip from Florence, the chances are that while winding your way through the countryside, you will at least catch a glimpse of the stunning walled town of Monteriggioni. Hopefully, however, you will be on a tour that includes a short stop at this historic gem as, overlooking the main road between Florence and Siena, it offers a fitting spot in which to enjoy a morning coffee or two.

As you approach, it looms quite suddenly around a bend as a somewhat dominant feature of the landscape. The ring of stone walls punctuated by the 14 geometric towers stand proudly atop the crest of the hill of the same name. Compared to infernal giants by Dante, the towers do have a commanding look about them, and the fact that they have stood the test of time since Medieval times shows us just how powerful this place has been.


Monteriggioni is actually a castle and throughout history it retained strategic importance. Its authoritative status played a huge part in preserving the structure of almost every defensive feature and makes it one of the most important walled castles in the region today. The way it was cleverly constructed, making use of the natural curves of the ground, gives the town the impression that it was built artificially and more recently; but rest assured this beauty spot is no less than 800 years old.

Built originally by the people of Siena, between 1213 and 1219, purely as a defensive structure, Monteriggioni was used to control the cities of Val d’Elsa and Staggia and keep an eye on armies approaching Siena. Soldiers would have patrolled the walls, watching over the Romea Gate that faces Rome and the Florentine gate that looks towards Florence.

The town you visit today on a Tuscany day trip from Florence is the original one. Minor changes occurred in the sixteenth century when the towers lowered due to earth shifting and gathering at the base. Otherwise, the only other alteration occurred when three of the towers were lowered to the wall level. This happened 100 years ago and it is unclear why, although it was probably for structural reasons.

Your Visit

As you arrive, your driver will park at the bottom of the hill. From there you’ll need to walk a short distance to the gate. It doesn’t take long to reach the centre of the town and the main piazza, known as Piazza di Roma, which is dominated by the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. Built in the thirteenth century, along with the rest of the castle, Romanesque-Gothic features abound. At the time of construction the main piazza was a vegetable garden designed to feed the inhabitants of the then castle during times of siege.

The Medieval Festival of Monteriggioni

If you happen to be passing on a Tuscany day trip from Florence in July, you might be lucky enough to catch the town’s annual festival. It really is a sight to behold; locals dress in Middle Ages attire, craftsmen and women fill the streets and you’ll see cavaliers, theatre, acrobats, storytellers and duels. It really is a ‘step back in time’ experience.

If you’re interested in visiting Monteriggioni and other places in the region on a Tuscany day trip from Florence, it is recommended to book your tour with a local operator. You can’t put a price on local knowledge, and small group intimate travel makes for an informative and memorable tour, wherever you're headed in Tuscany.

Author Plate

Mauro Bramante is the Director of WalkAbout Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including great itineraries for a Tuscany day trip from Florence. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro's company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you're keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.

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