però che, come su la cerchia tonda
Montereggion di torri si corona,
così la proda che ‘l pozzo circonda
torreggiavan di mezza la persona
li orribili giganti, cui minaccia
Giove del cielo ancora quando tuona
Dante Alighieri “Divine Comedy”
Monteriggioni is a medieval walled town, located on a natural hill. In the Middle Ages, the city was strategically placed as a defensive fortification. The roughly circular walls, totalling a length of about 570 metres incorporate 14 towers on square bases set at equidistance and two portals or gates. The main piazza, the Piazza Roma, is dominated by a church with a simple, plain facade.
How to reach Monteriggioni: From Siena take direction Florence and after 12 Km find the sign for Monteriggioni
Distances: Siena 15 Km – Florence 50 Km – Pisa 95 Km – Arezzo 80 Km
Festivals: The Mediaeval Festival – first weekend of July
During yet another battle between the provinces at Monteriggioni castle, the Florentines fired cannons which hit a central well and severely damaged the water supplies within the castle.
Capatin Zeti felt torn as he knew no battle could be won when their defences were jeopardised and water was in low stock. His men had vowed to fight to their death in defence of their precious castle but he wasn’t prepared to meet such a fate himself.
He slipped out in disguise that night and headed towards the resting Florentine army camp outside the castle walls to negotiate with their leader. They agreed to give him back his Florentine citizenship and the properties that had been taken from him years ago when he had switched sides if he led some of the army into the castle to attack from the inside. Zeti approved of this plan and led some of the armed troops inside and there they seized control and forced the Sienese army to surrender.
But Captain Zeti was soon to be tormented by his betrayal and was disowned by Siena in disgust; they hated him passionately and wished him dead. He lived the rest of his days haunted by his greedy and cowardly behaviour.
Over the centuries, many people have reported sightings of the ghost of Captain Zeti, crying out his pleas for compassion and understanding of his decision to give Florence control of Monteriggioni castle. His actions seemed to have doomed him forever as he wanders the lands rejected and alone.