Saturday, June 10, 2023
Today we visited Monteriggioni that was a walled castle with only about 50 people living in the historic castle complex.
We walked around the town and a highlight was walking along the castle walls. The village sits on the hill Monte Ala and looks over the Chianti countryside.
The medieval city walls and its 14 defense towers are well preserved from 1213 when the fortress was built. It was built as a base against Florence for the Republic of Siena. The walls are up to 6 1/2 feet thick.
One of the best things to do was to walk on the medieval walls. You can’t walk the entire loop but there were two sections. The longer section was near the main entrance into town.
The views from the walls of the Chianti countryside were beautiful. Below were some of the pictures we took from the wall.
We also took pictures of the village of Monteriggioni as we stood on the wall.
The Piazza Roma was the center square of the town. On the square was the small church of Santa Maria Assunta which was from the 13th century. This church was built the same time as the foundation of the castle.
The famous Italian poet, writer, and philosopher Dante Alighieri even referenced the town in his Divine Comedy.
Our walk around town didn’t take long because the town wasn’t that large and it wasn’t crowded at all!
The Monte Chiaro wine shop and tasting laboratory was located on the town square of the castle. One of our traveling group found this little gem. We did a wine tasting here. The wine was certified organic and our guide to the wines was very knowledgeable. The wine tasting began at the outside covered patio but it started raining and so we went into the tasting room downstairs.
After we finished our time in Monteriggioni we drove to a newer winery Casale dello Spaviero in Castellina. Castellina had about 2,800 inhabitants. At Casale dello Spaviero we had another wine tasting. The estate sat on a beautiful setting in the countryside.
The wine tasting was of three different red wines from the cellars.
We were back at the villa (really it was a farmhouse B&B) for dinner which began at 8:00 PM and lasted until 10:00 PM. and consisted of 5 courses! Each dinner ended with being served a shot of Grappa, a grape based pomace brandy of Italian origin and contained 35-60 percent alcohol by volume. Having a shot of Grappa after dinner was supposed to help with digestion of your meal! It was definitely strong!
What adventures would be in store for us tomorrow? We were looking forward to it.