A castle to discover in Tuscany
Monteriggioni is undoubtedly a castle to discover in Tuscany. It is a magical place because its shape evokes the epic stories of fortified villages and knights who go into battle to defend them.
In reality, Monteriggioni exists and had actually been the object of contention by rival armies, particularly those of Florence’s and Siena’s, which since 1214 – the year of its official foundation – have repeatedly tried to gain control of it, until the mid-sixteenth century .
The quotation from Dante Alghieri
The castle of Monteriggioni was also mentioned by Dante Alghieri in the Divina Commedia between the verses 40 and 42 of the XXXI Canto of Inferno where, describing the “round circle” that is enclosed by the planet earth, it refers to the castle of Monteriggioni that crowns itself of as many as fourteen towers.
«[…] di Torri si corona
cosi ‘n la proda che ‘l pozzo circonda
torreggiavano di mezza la persona
li orribili giganti […]»
If the fortified complex was mentioned by the supreme Poet, this means that Monteriggioni with its towers had to particularly impress its contemporaries, in particular the Florentines because the castle was built by rival Siena as a stronghold in defence of the Republic.
A conference for the castle’s 800 years
On the occasion of foundation castle centenary, in 2014, the Municipality of Monteriggioni celebrated that important anniversary with a series of initiatives. Ottocentomonteriggioni was the title given to the conference which saw the participation of a group of experts and scholars of international level such as Chris Wickam, professor at the Oxford University and an expert on medieval Italian history.
Then , Marco Valenti, teacher of post-classical archeology at the University of Siena, was present on the Italian scientific level. Also from the University of Siena Duccio Balestracci intervened, professor of Medieval History. Then there was Marialuisa Bottazzi, epigraphist and professor at the University of Trieste, who presented an interesting critical and philological analysis on the tombstone on the walls of the castle attesting to the foundation year of the fortified settlement.
Between Siena and Florence
Being on the road between Siena and Florence, a few steps from the motorway junction, Monteriggioni is truly a castle to be discovered when visiting Tuscany. You cannot fail to be amazed by the beauty of its towers and the collected and picturesque appearance of its narrow streets within the circle of walls.