Monteriggioni

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Monteriggioni
Comune
Comune di Monteriggioni
Panorama of Monteriggioni.
Panorama of Monteriggioni.
Coat of arms of Monteriggioni
Coat of arms
Monteriggioni is located in Italy
Monteriggioni
Monteriggioni
Location of Monteriggioni in Italy
Coordinates: 43°23′24.01″N 11°13′23.95″E / 43.3900028°N 11.2233194°E / 43.3900028; 11.2233194
CountryItaly
RegionTuscany
ProvinceSiena (SI)
FrazioniAbbadia a Isola, Badesse, Basciano, Belverde, Castellina Scalo, Ceppo, Colonna di Monteriggioni, Fontebecci, Quercegrossa, Riciano, Santa Colomba, Scorgiano, Stomennano, Strove, Uopini
Government
 • MayorAngelo Fantucci
Area
 • Total99 km2 (38 sq mi)
Elevation200 m (700 ft)
Population (31 December 2010)[1]
 • Total9,165
 • Density93/km2 (240/sq mi)
DemonymMonteriggionesi
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code53035
Dialing code0577
Patron saintMaria S.ma Assunta
Saint day15 August
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Monteriggioni
Comune
Comune di Monteriggioni
Panorama of Monteriggioni.
Panorama of Monteriggioni.
Coat of arms of Monteriggioni
Coat of arms
Monteriggioni is located in Italy
Monteriggioni
Monteriggioni
Location of Monteriggioni in Italy
Coordinates: 43°23′24.01″N 11°13′23.95″E / 43.3900028°N 11.2233194°E / 43.3900028; 11.2233194
CountryItaly
RegionTuscany
ProvinceSiena (SI)
FrazioniAbbadia a Isola, Badesse, Basciano, Belverde, Castellina Scalo, Ceppo, Colonna di Monteriggioni, Fontebecci, Quercegrossa, Riciano, Santa Colomba, Scorgiano, Stomennano, Strove, Uopini
Government
 • MayorAngelo Fantucci
Area
 • Total99 km2 (38 sq mi)
Elevation200 m (700 ft)
Population (31 December 2010)[1]
 • Total9,165
 • Density93/km2 (240/sq mi)
DemonymMonteriggionesi
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code53035
Dialing code0577
Patron saintMaria S.ma Assunta
Saint day15 August
WebsiteOfficial website

Monteriggioni is a comune in the province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany. It borders on the communes of Casole d'Elsa, Castellina in Chianti, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Colle di Val d'Elsa, Poggibonsi, Siena and Sovicille.[2] The town is architecturally and culturally significant; it hosts several piazzas, and is referenced in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy.

History[edit]

City walls of Monteriggioni.

Monteriggioni is a medieval walled town, located on a natural hillock, built by the Sienese in 1214-1219 as a front line in their wars against Florence,[3] by assuming command of the Via Cassia running through the Val d'Elsa and Val Staggia to the west.

During the conflicts between Siena and Florence in the Middle Ages, the city was strategically placed as a defensive fortification. It also withstood many attacks from both the Florentines and the forces of the Bishop of Volterra. In 1554 the Sienese were able to place control of the town's garrison to Giovannino Zeti, who had been exiled from Florence. In 1554, in an act of reconciliation with the Medicis, Zeti simply handed the keys of the town over to the Medicean forces - considered a "great betrayal" by the town's people.[2]

Main sights[edit]

Piazza Roma.

The roughly circular walls, totalling a length of about 570 meters and following the natural contours of the hill, were built between 1213 and 1219. There are fourteen towers on square bases set at equidistance, and two portals or gates. One gate, the Porta Fiorentina opens toward Florence to the north, and the other, the Porta Romana, faces Rome to the south. The main street within the walls connects the two gates in a roughly straight line.

The main piazza, the Piazza Roma, is dominated by a Romanesque church with a simple, plain façade. Other houses, some in the Renaissance style (once owned by local nobles, gentry and wealthy merchants) face into the piazza. Off the main piazza smaller streets give way to public gardens fronted by the other houses and small businesses of the town. In more hostile times, these gardens provided vital sustenance when enemies gathered without.

Other sights in the town's countryside include:

Cultural significance[edit]

The Tuscan poet Dante Alighieri used the turrets of Monteriggioni to evoke the sight of the ring of giants encircling the Infernal abyss.

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.

Dante Alighieri, Inferno canto XXXI, lines 40-45

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.

—as translated by Henry Francis Cary during the years 1805–1844

In other media[edit]

The town appears in the Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood video games and also appears as a playable siege map in Firefly Studios' 2001 computer game Stronghold.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Population data from Istat
  2. ^ a b "Tuscany Tours - Chianti tour n. 1". Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Crump, Vincent (April 6, 2008). "Step up for Europe’s top treks". London: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 1 April 2010. 

External links[edit]