Monteriggioni, “Of towers you are crowned”

When it appears behind thetrees, upon that hill named Monte Ala your first thought is that it is a mirage or that youhave ended up on the set of a spectacular film in Hollywood.

Whether the sighting wouldhave been by a wayfarer on the Francigena-road in the fourteenth century or bya motorist of our times on the freeway between Florence and Siena nobody canstifle an “oh” of amazement in front of Monteriggioni,one of the most lustrous pearls of Tuscany.  


The Divine Poet surely didn’t hide his admiration, as he used justthose Towers of Monteriggioni assimilating them to the Gigants chained up atthe precipice of Malebolge:

“peròche, come in su la cerchia tonda/Monteriggion di torri si corona, cosìla proda che 'l pozzo circonda/torregiavan di mezza la persona/li orribiligiganti, cui minaccia/Giove del cielo ancora quando tona » (Dante Alighieri,Inferno XXXI).


And to think that forcenturies Monteriggioni was aSenese defensive bastion: the fortified village was built inthis strategic position, in the beginning of the thirteenth century, to watchover the Francigena Roadand the valley of Elsa and Staggia in the direction of Florence,historical enemy of Siena.The walls and the towers of Monteriggioni, proud and invincible like the Giantsof the Inferno, surrendered only in 1554 because of the treachery of CaptainBernardino Zeti.It’s said that even today his penitent andcomplaining soul is wandering around in the small lanes of the village, askingfor forgiveness.   
“Of towers you are crowned” is the name, since twenty-one years, of the great Medieval Feast of Monteriggioni: Every year, amidst battles andjokes, reconstructions and musicians the village turns back five hundred yearsfor two week-ends. The 2012 Edition of “Monteriggioni�" “Di torri si corona” takes place on the 6th, 7th and 8thof July and also on the 13th, 14th e 15th ofJuly.

 To reachMonteriggioni from the Tenuta il Burchio:from Incisa take the motorway A1 direction North, exit at Firenze Certosa andtake the freeway Firenze-Siena and go off at the exit of Monteriggioni.Distance 70 km- Travelling time: about 50 minutes.