Monteriggioni

The small fortified village of Monteriggioni, perched on a hilltop, is a must-see during a tour of the Tuscan countryside.
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In the heart of the Sienese countryside lies the splendid village of Monteriggioni, a truly enchanted and unique place. Situated on a hilltop and surrounded by a circle of perfectly preserved circular walls, Monteriggioni is one of the places not to be missed during a tour of Tuscany.

Actually, the Monteriggioni we all know is only a very small part of the municipality of the same name, which has over 10,000 inhabitants and is composed of numerous hamlets, some of which are inhabited by only a few dozen people. The historical centre, also known as Castello, is very small but extremely evocative.

Visiting Monteriggioni you will find yourself immersed in a typically medieval atmosphere, so much so that several films have also been shot here. In addition, every year in July there is the Medieval festival, in which the streets and squares of the historic village are filled with festivity and recall the past centuries with costumed dances, shows and various initiatives.

Things to do in Monteriggioni

The historic centre of Monteriggioni is very small indeed: it is roughly circular in shape, with a diameter of only 170 metres. It goes without saying that getting around on foot is very easy; the streets are few, as are the buildings. But it is the atmosphere one breathes that makes Monteriggioni a true pearl of Tuscany. While you are visiting the borgo, don’t miss the main things to see, which we list below.

Tour of the walls

The walls of Monteriggioni are elliptical in shape and 2 metres thick. They are interspersed with 15 towers and two gates, and it is possible to walk along the areas of two walkways by paying the entrance fee at the ticket offices, which can be found directly below them. The walk along the walls of Monteriggioni offers splendid views of both the village and the Sienese countryside.

Please note that it is not possible to take the complete tour of the walls, but only two sections, called the south and north walkways. They are open daily from 09:30 to 13:30 and from 14:00 to 19:30, and with the entrance ticket you can also access a small museum.

The city gates

Porta Franca, or Porta Romea (as it looks towards Rome), and Porta Fiorentina, or San Giovanni, are the two main gates to the town. They are located at either end of the centre, and are connected by Via I Maggio, which cuts across Monteriggioni from east to west.

From the Fiorentina gate, one can admire a beautiful panorama of the Sienese hills, and it is also much less used than the Romea gate, which is located in front of the public car park and is therefore the main entrance gate to the town.

Church of Santa Maria Assunta

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta overlooks Piazza Roma, Monteriggioni’s main square. It is a small church dating back to the early 13th century, with a stone façade, sober and in Romanesque style, with a central doorway surmounted by an arch and a rose window.

The interior has a barrel-vaulted roof and consists of a single nave, simple and with few ornaments, in which two tabernacles and a painting of the Madonna by Lippo Vanni can be admired.

At the back of the church of Santa Maria Assunta is the bell tower, with a square plan, dating back to the 18th century.

Parish church of Santa Maria a Castello

About a 20-minute drive eastwards from Monteriggioni along the SP74 road, after passing through the idyllic village of Strove, you reach the parish church of Santa Maria a Castello, one of the most interesting things to see around Monteriggioni. It is a church whose origins are lost in time, as it was already consecrated as early as 971.

Nowadays, after more than a millennium, the church has undergone some changes: the façade we can admire is simple, showing a late-medieval portal and an eye opening. Inside, there are neoclassical decorations, and two large rectangular windows. Next to the pieve is the baptistery of St. John the Baptist, octagonal in shape, with bare outer walls and blind arches inside.

Monteriggioni and Assassin’s Creed

Monteriggioni also received international fame because it appeared in the successful Assassin’s Creed video game series. In particular, in the episodes Assassin’s Creed II and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, the castle of Monteriggioni is the residence of the Auditore family, as well as the location of the assassins’ crypt.

The difference between the real Monteriggioni and that of the video game is that a part has been added to the latter, in which the Auditore’s villa has been “built”, with luxurious gardens surrounding it.

Where to stay in Monteriggioni

In the historical centre of Monteriggioni there are a few small bed and breakfasts and room rentals. Sleep here if you want to feel the small village all to yourself in the evening, when the mass of day-trippers have gone home.

If, on the other hand, you want to enjoy the Tuscan countryside, stay in one of the many agriturismi in the area. They come in all types and categories: choose the one that best suits your style and budget.

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How to reach Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni is easily reached by car, as it is conveniently served by the junction of the Florence-Siena motorway: the exit is called Monteriggioni. It is about an hour from the centre of Florence, while from Siena it takes only 20 minutes.

At the hamlet of Castellina Scalo, about 4 kilometres from the centre of Monteriggioni, is the Castellina in Chianti-Monteriggioni railway station, where regional trains stop on the Empoli-Siena line. Therefore, if you want to reach Monteriggioni by train, you can easily get off here, and continue by bus number 130, which ends its journey in the hamlet of La Colonna. From here, a nice walk of about 20-25 minutes along a dirt road that climbs up the hill will take you directly to the centre.

Monteriggioni Weather

What's the weather at Monteriggioni? Below are the temperatures and the weather forecast at Monteriggioni for the next few days.

Friday 31
13°
22°
Saturday 1
11°
23°
Sunday 2
12°
19°
Monday 3
12°
21°
Tuesday 4
12°
26°
Wednesday 5
15°
22°

Where is located Monteriggioni

Monteriggioni is located in the province of Siena, about halfway between the capital and Poggibonsi. The small historic centre is located on a hilltop, surrounded by the magnificent Tuscan countryside.

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