You can't help but think while you're strolling the few streets that it was all cleaned up just before you came.
Apart from a couple of craft shops and restaurants, the highlight would probably be the locally produced wines available in the shops (and I hesitated to use the plural there!).
The odd little building in the foreground has to do with the local water supply.
A Walled City . . . with 14 towers
"No, it is not San Gimignano."
A friend gave us a book that had a small article about Monteriggioni so, since we were in Tuscany, we decided to find it. It is out in the countryside with no town attached, just the medieval walled city.
There is a free parking lot at the base of the hill and there is a pay parking lot just outside the city gate. No cars are allowed inside the walls except for residents and deliveries. No buses are allowed inside the walls at all. This was a great relief since we had been nearly unable to walk in "pedestrianized" Lucca due to not only residents' cars and delivery vans but city buses and at least a million bicycles that zip through the streets without so much as a warning bell to hapless pedestrians. Monteriggioni was a joy compared to that!
"Yes, there are tourists."
Since there is no town outside the city walls, tourism is the only thing keeping this place alive so there are tourist shops aplenty. However, there are also stores and shops for the people who live and work here and plenty of active artists and craftspeople. The church is an active parish. In other words, it is a "real" town but it does encourage tourism.
There are B&Bs and at least one hotel within the walls. There are restaurants in and around the square. There is a small park, lots of seating on the main piazza and great people watching everywhere.
Check the Travelogue below for more photos.
"View from the ramparts"
If you do nothing else touristy, walk the ramparts. They are not completely open, but the section that is open gives marvelous views onto the Chianti countryside. You also have great views of the town and gardens.
I mentioned San Gimignano and except for size, the striking difference between the two is that in San Gimignano the towers are inside the city; in Monteriggioni the towers are in the walls around the city. They were watch towers.