According to some archaeological finds dated back at Etruscan-Roman epochs, the charming village of Montaione has been inhabited from very ancient times. At a few metres from the old town centre you can indeed admire remains of a Roman cistern dated at the II century A.C., as well as some finds of Etruscan china in the area of Santo Stefano.
Even the Church of San Biagio, at 500 metres from the village, shows that Montaione was already inhabited in early Christian times, even though some more detailed news about it started from the Middle Ages.
As many others Tuscan towns, Montaione's name comes from an “evolution”: it probably derives from the Longobard “Allone di Lucca”, later become "Mons Allonis", then corrected as "Montacone", as written in a document of 988.
In 1118 at a distance of 2 Km from the centre of the town, it was built the “Pieve di San Regolo”: notable example of Romanesque architecture in Tuscany, which nevertheless not correspond to the historical church nowadays located at the very centre of Montaione.
During that period, the Castle of Montaione was ringed by sturdy walls and framed by 11 imposing towers. The urban district, crossed lengthwise by three streets (like every typical Roman camp), enclosed the Church of San Bartolomeo (today dedicated to San Regolo) and Palazzo Pretorio.
In the XIII century, in both Montaione and the near Gambassi, the locals specialized in making glassworks. Thanks to their workmanship, the craftsmen of Montaione got very well-known and popular all around Tuscany, insomuch as in 1700, a proclamation of the Grand Duke of Tuscany ordered the master glassmakers to teach this art to fellow countrymen only.
Montaione is provided with a rich network of trekking paths (some of them practicable even by bike) the crosses the territory. The routes are organized along 6 itineraries, planned in order to discover the countryside, exploiting the different areas, woods and slopes, that until a few years ago were frequented only by hunters and mushroom seekers.
Some musts among the myriad of events and festivals in Montaione:
- Festival of truffles and typical products: at end of October, in the park of Villa Serena
- Handicraft market and typical products: (from May to September) a fantastic opportunity to buy local handicrafts and taste gastronomic specialities, walking around the medieval walls of this lovely village
- Festival of home cooking cakes: (once at the end of May, once at the end of September) all the local families make one or more traditional genuine cakes and offer them to all tourists and participants at the festival.
- Montaione outdoor dinner: at the end of July, an outdoor dinner carried out in the historical centre of Montaione...definitely one of the most exciting events there!
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Explore nearby towns
The green Tuscan landscapes composed by Certaldo, Castelfiorentino, Montaione, Volterra and San Gimignano, hold the town of Gambassi Terme.
Castelfiorentino is situated in the administrative district of Empoli-Valdelsa, between the Arno River Valley and the northern side of Elsa Valley.
Immersed into the verdant countryside surrounding Pisa, halfway between Pisa and Florence, close by Volterra, as part of the beautiful park of Alta Valdera lies Ghizzano, an hamlet of Peccioli.