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Sito della Battaglia di Montaperti

26 Reviews
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Sito della Battaglia di Montaperti

26 Reviews
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Linda M wrote a review May 2019
Asciano, Italy19 contributions
Parking is available at the foot of the Montaperti hill but it's also a nice hike from the modern town of Montaperti nearby. There's a picnic area with tables in the shade and at the top of the hill is the pyramid that marks the site of the battle between Siena and Florence. Siena is proud to have won the historic battle against all odds. Hiking shoes recommended.
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Date of experience: May 2019
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Brun066 wrote a review Jul 2015
Florence, Italy9,987 contributions1,027 helpful votes
The benchmark for recognizing the site of Montaperti’s battle (1260 AD) is a hill, called “Monteapertaccio”, overlooking the plain north of the Arbia river. The site is easily reached from the hamlet of Montaperti, being reported by signs (and is also included in hiking circuits) The site can be reached by car (the last stretch of road is unpaved); but it is certainly advisable, to increase the charm of the place, stop the car at the restaurant "Le Pietre Vive" and walk the short uphill road leading to the top. On top there’s a stone pyramid, dating back not at the battle’s age, but at few decades ago, remembering the tragic event. The battle of Montaperti is in fact one of the bloodiest of those fought in the Middle Ages among the Italian municipalities ("Comuni"). To simplify the tale, the battle is said between Siena and Florence; but in fact it was between the "Guelph" alliance (ie that of the Papacy's supporters) including Florence and many other cities in central Italy, and also Bologna; while the "Ghibelline" alliance (ie that of the Holy Roman Empire’s supporters) had aligned with Siena the city of Pisa, and a few others. The “Ghibelline” troops turned winners, having forced to flee the enemy, and making a slaughter of them. There is talk of 10,000 deaths among soldiers of Florence and its allies: an enormous figure for those times, if you think that then 40,000 inhabitants was the population of a large European city, like London (but Siena had probably 50,000). The problem is that we know little of this battle, because a few years later (1269) the Tuscan Ghibellines were defeated, Siena also took over a Guelph government, and any existing document on the battle in the city was destroyed. So the memory of the battle is related to documents stored elsewhere, or to some hints of Dante in his "Divine Comedy" (for example "Inferno", Ch. X: "The slaughter and great carnage that made the Arbia river red colored"). As often happens, of the battlefields nothing remains, and you have to work by the imagination. Periodically, however, some re-enactments of the battle take place in the plain below, with actors in clothing and armours of the Middle Ages.
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Date of experience: April 2015
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