For as upon its circular defencese, monteriggioni crowns itself with towers
This is how Dante Alighieri in the 31st canto of the Inferno compared the towers of the extraordianry boundary walls belonging to one of the best preserved walled lands in Italy to giants.
Monteriggioni does not appear very differently from the Dantean vision to the pilgrim of our times. Standing as rampart against Florence in the aerly years of the 13th century, between 1213 and 1219 it was enclosed by a powerful oval-shaped walled circuit based on an almost costantly leveled bend, keeping the curved hilltop inside.
Fourteen projecting quadrilateral towers were later added to the outside at regular intervals along the 560 meters of the perimeter and were equipped with openings high on the sides to allow the movement of patrols. inside, the very simple village correspond to the integrity of the walls in its arrangement along the axis that join the only two openings: Porta Franca or Romea turned towards Siena to the southeast, and Porta Fiorentina or Saint John’s to the northwest.
The church of Santa Maria Assunta faces Piazza Roma, built in late Romanesque style of 1235, later restored several times. The bell tower was built in the 17th century and its top is the only architectural element of the ancient village perceptible from the outside, above the powerful turreted walls.
In the whole area there are many castles. Besides the Monteriggioni castle there are Castiglion Ghinibaldi (Castiglionalto) to which the owners added a hospital in 1265 and the castle of Rencine which the Florentines used to protect their territory and of which a tower is remained.