Not far from Torrita di Siena, set on top of a hill between Valdichiana and Val d'Orcia lies Montefollonico, typical isolated Medieval hamlet surrounded by thirteenth-century walls of fired bricks.
Narrow and winding alleys, short and rustic houses characterize this place and make it an authentic and genuine Tuscan glimpse. In ancient times it used to be called Monte a Fullonico. The Romans called "fullones" people that worked the cloths: the toponym seems to mean "place of cloth workers", maybe coming from the first human nucleus who settled near the Conventaccio (Benedictine Monks Abbey in the VIII century), that worked and dyed the wool.
Before the year 1000 the area around Montefollonico belonged to the powerful Ardinughi family, that built a fortress on a high and well defensible position, ideal to locate the Palazzo del Contado, along with the houses of artisans and soldiers. Montefollonico grew up between the XII and the XIII century: the first historical document that testified its presence dates back to 1202.
According to the local chronicle, in 1229 Montepulciano attacked the village, devastated houses and harvests, sacking even all the linen in town. The troops from Orvieto, in 1234, sacked the hamlet as well as the Abbey of St Mary. At that point the Republic of Siena decided to fortify the walls of Montefollonico, which was a strategic point of its defence system. The Castle was hold by a imposing walled perimeter with three gates: Porta di Follonica, Porta del Triano and Porta del Pianello. As time goes by, thanks to that important position, the hamlet extended its name to the whole surrounding area, and becoming a crucial point of the Republic of Siena, in terms of both political and economic advantages.
The strategic border position caused frequent attacks: in 1266 the Guelphs coming out of Siena took possession of Montefollonico, but in 1268 Charles of Anjou took it away from the Senese's rule and gave it to Donosdeo Tolomei as feud.
Siena re-conquered the village in 1271 and made several wall fortifications until 1300. In 1543, Montefollonico surrendered to the Imperial army of Charles V and became part of the Medicean rule. The current village has extended even outside the walls, but still preserves the original charm!
May: Palio dei Somari folkloric donkey ride where the eight quarters of the village compete in costume. de corteo storico in costume
June: Festa al Capannone in honour of the Patron Saint St Macario. You will attend an evoking procession and horse ride.
Summer: Estate Torritese with concerts, exhibitions and numerous thrilling events.
December: painting and sculpture exhibitions at the Biblioteca Comunale and enchanting living crib.
Explore nearby towns
Montepulciano is one of Tuscany's prettiest towns, strung along a ridge at 605 meters above sea level near the border of Umbria.
Torrita di Siena is called "a mini Siena" for its style, atmosphere and history that tied it to that city-state.
Monticchiello rests on a hill near Pienza, in the provincial countryside of Siena.
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