Monteriggioni: Among History, Assassin’s Creed and Dante Alighieri
June 11, 2016
Location: Italy, Monteriggioni
Monteriggioni is located in the province of Siena, in Tuscany, Italy.
How to get there, best time and cost
By Car: it’s not difficult, from main Tuscan cities join the Florence-Siena dual-carriageway and just before reaching Siena (10 km) go toward the “Monteriggioni” exit and follow the directions to the castle. In front of the main gate (50 m) there is a car park with 60 places; it’s open in winter from 8 am to 8 pm and in Summer from 8am to 9pm, and it’s quite cheap: 1 hour € 2, 1 hour and a half € 2,50 and all day for € 3.
By Bus: there are many daily buses (“Train” & “Sita” companies) from Florence and Siena to Monteriggioni.
From Siena to Monteriggioni (14 km) take the bus N° “130 A” or “R”
From Florence to Monteriggioni (60 km) take the buses from “Santa Maria Novella Bus & Train Station”, take the bus N° “131 ” to Fontebecci and then take the N° 130 to Monteriggioni.
By Train: In my opinion the worst choice to get Monteriggioni. The nearest railway station is: “Castellina in Chianti-Monteriggioni” and it’s about 4 km far away from the castle.
By bike and by walk: simple using the “Via Francigena” and after the signals on the road. For further information and maps visit francigenaways.com.
Costs: the Monteriggioni Castle is always open and you don’t have to pay any entrance fee, except for the amor museum and to walk along the castle walls.
Where to sleep: inside the castle there is only a 4 stars hotel, so you should stay in some hostel in Florence or Siena.
Best time: it’s possible to visit Monteriggioni all year round, but my suggestion is to go in April or in July during the Medieval Festival week, usually the second week of the month.
History and curiosities
Built by the Sienese in 1214, Monteriggioni was a strategical fortress in the wars against Florence. The circular walls with 14 towers and the two main gates, the north one called “Fiorentina” or “San Giovanni” toward Florence and the other one faces to south toward Siena and Rome called “Romea” or “Franca”. The little village has not change too much from its construction, the walls and the towers are original and even if the most of the houses were modernized this place is really fascinating and characteristic.
Why is Monteriggioni so famous?
Monteriggioni is without a doubt one of the most beautiful fortified villages in Tuscany and for sure in Italy. Even Dante Alighieri fall in love with it mentioning Monteriggioni in its Inferno:
ITALIAN: però che, come su la cerchia tonda Montereggion di torri si corona, così la proda che 'l pozzo circonda torreggiavan di mezza la persona li orribili giganti, cui minaccia Giove del cielo ancora quando tuona. ENGLISH: As with circling round Of turrets, Monteriggioni crowns his walls; E’en thus the shore, encompassing the abyss, Was turreted with giants, half their length Uprearing, horrible, whom Jove from heaven Yet threatens, when his muttering thunder rolls. Dante Alighieri, Inferno canto XXXI, lines from 40 to 45
ITALIAN: però che, come su la cerchia tonda Montereggion di torri si corona, così la proda che 'l pozzo circonda torreggiavan di mezza la persona li orribili giganti, cui minaccia Giove del cielo ancora quando tuona. ENGLISH: As with circling round Of turrets, Monteriggioni crowns his walls; E’en thus the shore, encompassing the abyss, Was turreted with giants, half their length Uprearing, horrible, whom Jove from heaven Yet threatens, when his muttering thunder rolls.Dante Alighieri, Inferno canto XXXI, lines from 40 to 45
In recent years Monteriggioni has increased in popularity because of a famous Video game that I’m sure most of you know it: Assassin’s Creed. In fact UBISOFT used the medieval village as one of the main scenarios of the Ezio Auditore’s Saga. Maybe you’re wondering if you can visit the “Villa Auditore” and if the castle looks like in the video game… keep reading the post to find it out :D.
After leaving San Gimignano (click here to see the related post) my good friends Giulia and Giulia guided me into a Monteriggioni tour, pretty short since that it takes just one hour or in my case 2 and a half hours (I take it easy). First step was to see the main square “Piazza Roma”, the main point of the village, with a small church, some lodge around and little typical restaurants. From “Piazza Roma” you can visit all the alley inside the castle and the characteristic medieval welling.
Walking on the walls
One of the best things to do in Monteriggioni is walking along the top of the castle walls. You can visit the northern walkway and the southern one. From the top you can contemplate all the castle and admire the Chianti countryside surround Monteriggioni, a breathtaking landscape. The walkway on “Romea Gate” is better than “Fiorentina gate” since in the last one you can walk along just for 8 meters. The cost is 3 € Armor Museum included.
The Armor Museum
The museum is in the main street that connect the two main gates, and exactly after the “Piazza Roma” on the right. It is really small, and you can visit it in few minutes. In this museum you can you use the weapons and dress the armors, that’s really cool, isn’t it? as you can see I did it, and don’t worry I didn’t kill anyone… And after the little tour inside the museum you can buy some souvenirs if you want, the most sold are about Assassin’s Creed of course…they know the business 🙂 .
Assassin’s Creed (only for the gamers)
I’m pretty sure you’re wondering if the real castle is similar or practically the same to the video game one…well guys, I’m so sorry to let you know that it is totally different. Ezio’s Villa doesn’t exist and the arrangement of the village inside the castle is different as well. Only the church and the walls are identical to the video game.
Such a disappointment…if you wish to emulate Ezio Auditore and relive the video but doesn’t matter…this place is gorgeous too, so enjoy the visit 🙂 .
Where to eat
Well, as I told you Monteriggioni is really small, so there aren’t many places where you can eat, but there are some characteristic restaurant where you can taste the real Tuscan cuisine. One of these is the “Il Feudo” restaurant, in Piazza Roma. As you can see from the picture below the 3 dishes we ordered “Pici with wild Boar Bolognese Sauce”, “Pici with cheese” and a handmade ravioli stuffed with wild boar and a delicious sauce made with pear and pistachio nut”, surely the best one. It’s not properly cheap but I highly suggest you to taste them…yummy.
Once again, if you are planning to visit Tuscany Monteriggioni is a obligatory step, so don’t miss this opportunity.
I suggest you 1 day tour visiting Monteriggioni and San Gimignano.
Taste the amazing Tuscan cuisine and the “Pici”, the traditional Tuscan Pasta, is a must…don’t miss out :D.
Use one ticket for the Armor Museum and the walkway along the wall of the castle, don’t pay twice.
I loved this quaint village. It had such a beauty, frozen in time, surrounded by amazing views of the Tuscany landscape. We didn’t eat there but I had a great time walking around, looking at the quality shops. It must be a great place to spend a night before heading to Siena.
…….you can walk on castle walls?! I’m sold. Like any of us need much reason to visit Tuscany anyways though haha. I can picture the market and town from Assassins Creed, I had no idea it was a real place. Great post!
Oh i so can’t wait to go here. I’ve played ALL of the assassins Creed games and by far, the game that featured this amazing place was my favourite. I’m actually surprised because I didn’t think the games would look as though it does in your photos, so true to life. Thanks for the great read and the amazing photos. I just added that to my ‘MUST SEE’ list :p
Thank you Josh, for a gamer who love Assassin’s Creed this place is really awesome :). So if you’re thinking to come in Italy and exactly in Tuscany you can’t miss out, Monteriggioni is atonishing.
Awesome!! Definitely will have to visit!
Thanks Daniel, this place rocks, you should visit asap 🙂
Wow! Italy is beautiful! Thanks for the useful tips and interesting info!
Thank you so much Yana 🙂 , yes it is, Italy is wonderful and there are a lot of places where travel to …keep following us, we gonna write more posts about Italy and other amazing destinations 😀