Not far from Sienna going north, Monteriggioni occupies the peak of a smallhill with cultivated slopes, vineyards and olives.
Built in the second decade of the thirteenth century by of Siena to create a defence outpost against Florence, for centuries the stronghold carried out the function for which it was built, repelling a number of sieges and attacks. From the middle of 1600 its military function stopped when Siena and its entire territory was annexed to the Florentine state.
Almost the majorityof the XIII century structure still remains untouchedwhich makes Monteriggioni unique in the universe of medieval Tuscan villages. Its circular walls, which crown the peak of the hill, are constructed over roughly 570 metres and crowned with fourteen towers that rise up from the outer surface. Dante himself used the turrets as the famous simile for the giants encircling the infernal abyss in his Divine Comedy “as with circling round of turrets / Monteriggion crowns his walls/ E’en thus the shore, encompassing the abyss/ was turreted with giants”.
The village can be entered through two gates (a third has been constructed) and centres around a quite big rectangular square with the parish of S. Maria Assunta.
During the first weekend of July Monteriggioni celebrates its ancient times with the Medieval Festival. Inside the castle craftsmen and merchants stalls and shops, along with jesters, townsfolk and jugglers' shows, street artists and concerts with antique instruments can be found.