Tuscan history in three villages: Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and Volterra.
Lot we can say about Tuscan history but three villages can give you a perfect idea of our roots.Tuscany is a region full of history and medieval traditions. This is clearly visible along the streets of some of the oldest hamlets of the area, like Monteriggioni. Dante Alighieri was so thunderstruck by its power that he quoted it in his masterpiece “Divine Comedy”.
On the top of the typical Tuscan hills, along the “via francigena”, Monteriggioni is completely surrounded by powerful walls, dating back to the first half of the thirteenth century. During the war between Siena and Florence, the Florentine troops never succeeded in conquering this town, thanks to its strategic position and its walls.
For this reason, the walls have come intact until now. Walking on the top of them and visiting the turrets spacing out on the walls, you will enjoy a wonderful view of the neighbouring panorama.
Once inside the hamlet, the capturing Piazza Roma, which encloses the small “Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta”, will appear to your eyes. Borgo Grondiaie suggests you eating in one of the restaurants of the village, which will delight your senses with their typical dishes, such as Tuscan cold cuts, boar meat and the wines of Siena. At the same time, you will be dragged into a unique atmosphere.
Another town able to fascinate the tourist’s eyes is San Gimignano, whose origins date back to the tenth century.
The unicity of this ancient town lies in the numerous towers (15 towers are still in the hamlet), which make it the only in the world.
Inside the hamlet you will admire the gorgeous Piazza del Duomo, which was the centre of the religion and policy of the village. The “Collegiata di Santa Maria Assunta”, which is placed on the top of a staircase, dominates the square. In this church you will see wonderful pieces and frescos.
Walking through a steep slope you will find Porta delle Fonti. This door will welcome you in the adorable setting of the medieval public springs, which was the only water source available for the inhabitants of the past centuries.
We also suggest you visiting the mighty Torre Grossa, from which you will admire a marvellous view of the village and the landscape surrounding it.
Equally beautiful, the city of Volterra lies close to the above-mentioned towns, even if it is already in the district of Pisa.
This city, like Monteriggioni, is enclosed by city walls, built around the XIII century. This is a crucial century for the town, because the main structures, situated inside the perimeter, were built in these years.
The palazzo comunale is an example of that. It erects in the majestic Piazza dei Priori and shows on its façade the emblem of important Florentine families, which ruled the city from the XV century.
Strolling in the enchanting alleys that Volterra offers you, you will find yourself in front of the “Battistero di San Giovanni”, in which you will see fabulous pieces of the XVI and XVII centuries. The beauty of the “Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta”, situated right in front of the baptistery, will stun you.
However, the history of Volterra does not start in the Middle Ages: consequently, you will encounter the rests of an ancient Roman amphitheatre, dating back to the end of the I century B.C.
For the lovers of the most captivating panoramas, a visit to the suggestive “Balze di Volterra” is compulsory.
Walking along the ancient Etruscan city wall, you will be able to see a unique view of this particular erosion phenomenon, which begot this unique landscape.
A peculiarity of Volterra is the alabaster production. This production, started by the Etruscan, is around 3000 years old, but is still generating one of the most refined stones in Europe. If you are particularly interested in the Etruscan history, we suggest you visiting the Etruscan Museum, the most important in Tuscany. Inside this museum you will observe priceless archaeological pieces.
If you are looking for a unique place, able to satisfy your interest for the history and arts while you are photographing incredible panoramas, Borgo Grondaie suggests you to visit the area of Monteriggioni, San Gimignano and Volterra
With its landscapes, strongholds, the gorgeous churches and the typical dishes, this region will make your trip so unforgettable that it will be part of your heart forever.