Monteriggioni, the most authentic medieval Italy 

If you are among the lovers of medieval villages you will not be able to escape the charm of Monteriggioni that from the top of a hill north of Siena greets visitors with its imposing fortified walls.  

Walls and towers are well preserved and the exploration of the treasures they hold offers the opportunity for a journey through time. Inside the fortification you can visit Piazza Roma, with its picturesque atmosphere in any season of the year and with any type of light. Here you can relax in the shade of the many historic buildings that embrace it. A glimpse that will thrill your heart is the narrow street of Via Matteotti, with the final space equipped with a characteristic bread oven. 

For those who want to deepen their knowledge of history and military art, the Monteriggioni in Arme Museum offers a rich exhibition of armor, ancient weapons and medieval artifacts. The Church of Santa Maria Assunta and the Church of San Lorenzo, in Romanesque and Gothic style, still conserve frescoes and period works of art.  Inside the walls you can also visit the Roman Theatre. 

Monteriggioni also offers enchanting historical-naturalistic itineraries: the paths that wind around the city lead visitors into breathtaking landscapes, through oak and cypress woods, ancient windmills and remains of old monasteries, silent witnesses of the fascinating past of this region.

Foto : Unsplash

Monteriggioni at the table 

Tuscan cuisine is distinguished by its simplicity and authenticity and Monteriggioni is no exception: the gastronomic offer of the village is already a journey in itself. So you can start to discover the traditional Tuscan flavors by sitting in one of the many taverns (they are all close to each other) and making you serve the tomato soup, ribollita and local meats, including the famous finocchiona or the raw, often offered in unsalted Tuscan bread. 

The restaurants are known for offering seasonal dishes made with raw materials from the fertile and unspoilt Montagnola Senese. Do not miss the ficattole, with fried bread dough, the potato tortelli and the many excellent meats such as Florentine steak, grilled ribs and, if you do not pull back in front of the offal, the coratella of wild boar. 

After an inspired walk to discover the wonders of the village you can look for refreshment in the cellars. Just like the pilgrims who have been walking these stone roads for centuries (Monteriggioni is on the Via Francigena, the spiritual path that connects Canterbury to Rome) water your weary joints with a glass of Chianti, Brunello or Colli Senesi, wines today known and loved all over the world. In your glasses and in the stories sung by the musicians guests of the taverns you will find a centuries-old tradition, celebrated in its verses by Dante, Poliziano and Cecco Angiolieri, always considered an important part of “senesità”.

It tells a modern legend that in 2008 one of the developers of the video games of Ubisoft house was forced by an epic storm to modify their travel plans and take refuge in the village of Monteriggioni. Here, between thunder and lightning, was born the idea of making the charming village home of Ezio Auditore, famous protagonist of Assassin’s Creed II, game for consoles that leads players in Renaissance Italy and allows you to explore several Italian cities, including Rome, Venice, Florence, Forlì and San Gimignano.  

The representation of the village offered by the game is totally realistic and allows you to live the experience of the visit completely immersed in the medieval atmosphere. The game has helped make Monteriggioni a medieval icon making it known to younger generations. 

Monteriggioni was also chosen as a location to shoot many cinematic scenes: Liv Tyler’s wheat races were filmed here in Bertolucci’s “Io ballo da sola”. The cameras of Mario Monicelli, Neri Parenti, Francesco Nuti and Mario Soldati also passed through here.

Foto : Unspash

Don’t miss: the medieval festival of Monteriggioni 

Musicians, artisans, flag-wavers, jugglers, ladies and knights in period costumes, jesters and jousts: if you go to Monteriggioni in July you will find yourself in the middle of one of the most beautiful and ancient medieval festivals in Italy. 

The historical re-enactment offers every year a full program of events, shows and parades that opens with a large banquet at the castle and continues for about 3-4 days (varies every year) in the attempt, well succeeded, to transport visitors to places and times that seem fantastic but are instead so real.  

As Troisi and Benigni in “We just have to cry” you will soon settle in, thanks to the care with which the experience is made really immersive. 

One of the most interesting aspects is the gastronomic proposal: during the feast in the taverns of Monteriggioni ancient dishes are prepared, following the indications of the Italian recipes of the thirteenth century-fifteenth century. You just have to taste.

Autore: Eleonora Di Mauro

Copertina: Unsplash

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