Francigena slow: from Strove to Monteriggioni
From Strove to Monteriggioni
Francigena slow: a leisurely walk to put us back in touch with our natural rhythms.
A leisurely walk is a way of getting back in touch with nature, as we wonder at the natural and artistic beauty which surrounds us. Indeed, it is the leitmotiv of this excursion, starting from the small village of Strove and moving towards Abbadia a Isola, along the hillside named Montagnola Senese.
Here we will visit the Benedictine Church of Abbadia, dedicated to Saint Cirino and founded by the noble Lombard Ava di Staggia in 1001. The church, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, was built on a strip of land which emerged from the Canneto marsh, giving the impression that the building was floating on an island. It holds some exquisite works of art, the most outstanding being an altar piece by Sano di Pietro.
Next, a gentle footpath will take us towards the walled town of Monteriggioni, as our eyes take in golden expanses of grain and thick woodland.
The town with its unmistakable silhouette, sheltering within the embrace of its mighty walls, is small but well worth a visit, above all when you climb up to the walkways on the walls to admire the incomparable views of the surrounding countryside.
Indeed, with a little imagination you can still hear the footsteps of the soldiers who used to guard the castle from atop, although to hear the wailing of the ghost which still haunts the place you need to wait for a full moon. 😉
What happened was this: in 1554 a certain Giovacchino Zeti quite simply betrayed his side by handing the castle, last defence against the attacks of the Florentines, over to the enemy. This marked the beginning of the end for Siena, which was soon to fall into the hands of the Medici family. That is why Zeti’s ghost, tormented by remorse for his cowardly act, is said still to wander in the underground passageways of Monteriggioni.
Just as interesting is a visit to the Museum named “Monteriggioni in arme”: an enjoyable, informative opportunity to learn all there is to know about siege strategy and medieval armour.
- Duration: approx. 4 hours overall
- Lenght: 6.5 km
- Difficulty: easy
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