The tower of the 'Cassero'.
The Barbican of the Porta del Pianello (Pianello Gate).
The walled town of Montefollonico is reachable following the motorway
A1 until the exit 'Valdichiana', then following the direction toward
Torrita di Siena and Pienza. After about 5 km you will find a crossroad,
turn left (coming from Torrita, right coming from Pienza) to Montefollonico.
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Montefollonico had a great development between the 12th and 13th centuries
as walled border town of the Sienese Republic, built on pre-existing
Etruscan and Roman settlements. Its name is from the Latin word fullones,
that is the name given to the wool workers (Monte a Follonico = place
were the wool is worked).
Before year 1000 the territory was controlled by the
feudal family of the Ardinughi, but the most ancient
document about Montefollonico dates back 1202: is a promise
of Siena to send some
soldier to defend
the hamlet from the attacks of the nearby Montepulciano.
A few years later, in 1229, Montepulciano attacked again Montefollonico
devastating houses and the whole harvest. Then was Orvieto,
in 1234, to raid Montefollonico
and the near Santa Maria Abbey. After this new attack the Sienese Republic
strengthened the town walls making of Montefollonico a strategical
point in its border-castles chain.
position along the borderline made the walled town object of hundreds
sieges and skirmish, like the one in 1266 suffered by the Guelphs
exiled from Siena, and in 1268, when Carlo d'Angiò took off
Montefollonico from the Sienese dominion to gave it in fief a Donosdeo
1271, Siena regain possession on the town and undertook new works
We don't have notices on Montefollonico until 1432 when it was, in
vain, besieged by the famous captains of venture Niccolò da
Tolentino and Niccolò di Fortebraccio. In 1553, following the
destine of Siena, the walled town fell under the Medicean domain. In
1618 became fief of the family Coppoli from Perugia.
Montefollonico is still today for great part encircled by the medieval
stone walls, in some points dismantled, endowed by seven round
towers and three gates: the Porta del Triano,
a Follonica and the
Porta del Pianello or Porta Nuova (or also called Senese). This
was the main town gate, a great example of fortified architecture of
century. It is protected by an outer barbican (in stone and
bricks) once gifted by drawbridge. The Porta a Follonica, today
disappeared, was built entirely in stone with two lateral rounded
one survived to our days, the Torre Moreschini. The third gate,
the Porta del Triano, is encircled by powerful walls, beside there
two round shaped bastions. From the middle of the southern curtain
the Sienese Cassero, an high squared tower.