Have you ever heard of the town called Monteriggioni in Tuscany? Me neither. Well, at least not until we visited there in the beginning of April. Can I pronounce it correctly? Ehhhh, not really. Did I love it? Yes!
Monteriggioni is a medieval town located between Florence and Siena. It is a perfect day trip if you are staying in either of the two cities. I’m calling it a hidden gem because I never heard of it before coming here and I didn’t read about it in any of the books I read about this area. This Tuscan town is located on top of a hill and is entirely comprised of historic medieval architecture. Now, my husband is actually the one that brought me on this side trip when we visited Florence and Pisa. Apparently, Monteriggioni is one of the places he fought at in the video game Assasin’s Creed. I have never played the game and I still loved this place. I can tell you that it offers amazing views of Tuscany, cute craft shops, a fun armor museum and an unforgettable castle experience.
You cannot miss the Monteriggioni when you are driving on the autostrada. It’s up there within those castle walls – an absolutely stunning sight to see!
Where is this town exactly? 40 minutes from Florence or 20 minutes from Siena. A perfect stop if you are traveling between the two cities.
How do you get there? The easiest way to get to this city is by car. However, it is possible to take the bus or train from Siena. You might end up having to walk a bit if you do so.
How much time did you spend there? We spent about an hour and a half checking out the area. You could definitely spend a bit more time there if you take a look around the shops and eat lunch there. Don’t expect to spend more than a few hours, however.
What time did you go? Was it crowded? We visited on April 1 and arrived around 5pm. Everything closes at 7pm so be wary. There were very few people here when we visited. It was a nice relief from all of the crowds in Florence!
Is there parking on site? Yes! There are two options for parking: at the top or at the bottom of the hill. We parked at the top of the hill. There was a small parking hourly parking fee but nothing too expensive. Obviously, if you park at the bottom of the hill, you have to hike to the top.
What to do:
There are a few things that you can do in this little town despite it’s small size. To start, you can walk around and visit some of the shops there. There are not that many shops to see but the ones that are there offer cute knick knacks and Tuscan treats (cough cough, wine) to bring home. There is also a small church that you can visit as well as a few restaurants and some hotels. Here is a picture of the main square where the restaurants and church are located.
For 3 euro, you can purchase a ticket that allows you to visit the armor museum and walk around the walls of the city. The armor museum was small but quite interesting. It included lots of medieval armor and weapons. Here is the interesting part – you were allowed to try on many of the different pieces of armor which makes for great photo opportunities. While we enjoyed the museum as full-grown adults, I believe this would also be a great experience if you are traveling with kids, let’s say 10+. There is also a small gift shop in the museum if you are interested in picking up some Monteriggioni souvenirs.
There are 3 different access points to walk the walls of the city. None of the three areas are connected so you have to walk to each of them. However, they each offer unique views of the surrounding area so it is worth it to walk to all of them. The views of both the inside and outside of the city from on top of the walls are outstanding. We were lucky enough to make it to the city right around sunset which was beautiful and really refreshing.
Another fun fact about this town is that, like a lot of places in Italy, there were quite a few cats roaming the streets! For us, this was not a problem at all. We met this cutie pie and gave her a couple pets before she decided she didn’t like us anymore. It probably wasn’t a great idea to pet her, but how could we resist?!
If you are in the area it is definitely a great idea to add Monteriggioni to your travel plans. It is an absolutely breathtaking little town and a well-deserved respite from the overcrowded cities. I’m not sure why I had never heard of it before visiting because I loved this place! It is definitely an experience that I am going to truly treasure for a very long time.
What is your favorite travel experience? Have you ever heard of Monteriggioni? Let me know in the comments down below! Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to receive more Pearl Innovations directly to your inbox.