Monteriggioni – The Pearl of Tuscany
In the heart of the famous region of Siena in Tuscany stands an old walled town, built in the year 1213 by the Sienese here as a forward defense post in their war against Florence. When one approaches the medieval walls, still standing nearly undamaged after all these centuries you have the feeling time has stopped beyond these walls until you walk in.
Monteriggioni is essentially a small town, a walled community which lives a relatively quiet life here, surrounded by the vineyards of the region.
Monteriggioni, Tuscany, Italy by Vignaccia76
The town was well-known and loved long before today however, as even the great Dante Alighieri mentioned it in his Divine Comedy and its rounded walls. The wall has fourteen towers which served as defense points for the soldiers who protected the fortified location. There is minimal traffic within the walls today and even though the area is accessible by car and you can really let your kids loose there without a worry.
Another thing you might enjoy during your stay in Monteriggioni is the “Festa Medievale”, a medieval fair starting at the first week of July annually. For about two weeks the walled town starts looking like it used to centuries ago. People and professionals dressed in respective costumes live and work here, taking the roles of craftsmen, soldiers, farmers and priests, bringing the whole place to life. If you want to get the best feel of what Monteriggioni was all about this is the best time to visit here. You’ll be dazzled by jugglers, jesters, acrobats, bards, magicians, astrologers and all sorts of entertainers who flock here from all around Italy and the world. You’ll be able to enjoy old medieval recipes for food and drinks.
There are several places where you’ll be able to stay here or in the surrounding areas if you can’t find a way to stay within the walls of the city. The Hotel Relais Castelbigozzi is within the walls of the town and although it is small the experience in living there for a bit is worth it. Another place is the Hotel Monteriggioni, which offers ten double bedrooms and two single bedrooms and a nice Italian feel to everything. You can also stay in the high-end “superior rooms” as they called them which offer a better view over the walls. The hotel offers several amenities such as wi-fi internet, your very own safety deposit box, a mini-bar and a direct phone line.
Other things you might enjoy within the walls are traditional Italian cuisine offered by the restaurants Il Piccolo Castello Ristorante Da Remo and Il Pozzo. The one thing you will definitely love here most of all is the fact that Monteriggioni is in Tuscany, which means this is the best place to obtain great wine and the famous and loved Chianti.
The greatest thing about the town is how well-preserved it is today and that the money brought in by tourism have been put to good use in restoring the walls and towers and the overall functionality and beauty of Monteriggioni. You won’t feel sorry about spending time here if you and a significant other want to spend a nice, romantic holiday here as this place carries the best of Italy within its walls.