Rocca of Montestaffoli

Rocca of Montestaffoli, San Gimignano: Address, Rocca of Montestaffoli Reviews: 4.5/5

Rocca of Montestaffoli
4.5
Castles • Observation Decks & Towers
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Walk to the castle on this hilltop park to get a sweeping view of the town's many towers.
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Brun066
Florence, Italy10,120 contributions
Today the main pros of the site is the panorama enjoyable from it
Dec 2020
Speaking of the Rocca di Montestaffoli, it's necessary to distinguish between its current appearance and the pre-existing buildings (of them nothing remains) which are much older, probably the first nucleus of the San Gimignano settlement.
Observing the topography of the city, it is evident that the site of this "Rocca" is the highest of all those close to the city. It therefore seems natural to imagine what the ancient chronicles tell us: that is, that the first relevant settlement in San Gimignano is documented on this site: that is, a fortress from the early Middle Ages belonging to the bishop of Volterra (who had jurisdiction over the area), and to the "shadow" of which the first nucleus of the future city developed, already in the remote 10th century (this nucleus was extended in a west-east direction, from here to the "Poggio della Torre", rather than north-south as it was in the following centuries of Middle Ages).
The current appearance of the Rocca (or rather, of what remains of it) is instead due to the construction by Florence starting from 1351: the date on which the city surrendered to Florence.
Today the main advantage of the site is the panorama that can be enjoyed from it (in particular from a corner tower, accessible by a staircase open to the public) towards the city and its towers to the east, towards the well-raised hill covered with woods called "Poggio del Comune", to the west.
Written 27 December 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AlbertSalichs
Manresa, Spain8,249 contributions
Nice old fortress of San Gimignano
Aug 2019 • Family
Rocca of Montestaffoli is the old fortress of San Gimignano, a wonderful medieval town in Tuscany Region, in the center of Italy. Nowadays only you can see remains, a park and a children park. Pitifully, it is not well-preserved, so it is ok to walk here, but it is much better walk around the town.
(See also Historic Centre of San Gimignano)
Written 13 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

swetamodi
Mumbai, India228 contributions
Highlight of San Gimignano
Sep 2019
a short easy walk past the main square - hilltop is easily accessible.
Lesser crowds than the main part of the town.

views are great, serene.
Written 7 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Mairwen1
United Kingdom4,193 contributions
Highlight of San Gimignano trip - Dramatic Views Worth the Short Climb
May 2019
Walking to the hilltop was the highlight of our visit to San Gimignano. However don’t expect a huge fortress as it is mostly a crumbling, but picturesque ruin. It's the absolutely stunning views that are worth going for.
The path is easily accessible for most people. It is a gentle uphill walk - a steady incline and not too steep. Starting just past the Duomo, there is a clear path the whole way. Halfway up, there is a large viewing point on your left which is a great spot to stop and take photos.
The fortress itself is just a shell really but you can walk up on the old tower that still remains and the views from here are a 360 degrees panorama – it’s an absolutely commanding view. There was a big storm brewing the day we were there. Watching the dark clouds rolling in across the distant mountain and over the beautiful green vineyards and lands below was dramatic and stunning.
Afterwards we wandered through the small gardens. Meandering paths, olive trees, a musician playing, a central medieval well… it couldn't be prettier. It is also quite peaceful up here as most day-trippers seem to stay close to the main historic centre. Had it been a better day, I can’t think of anything much nicer that taking some food up and having a picnic under the olive trees.
NOTE: Entrance through the park and fortress is free.
Written 3 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sara H
Melbourne, Australia680 contributions
Wonderful
Sep 2019 • Family
We came to town and I didn’t want to fork over almost 60 euro for our family to climb the tower. We had wandered over to the castle and climbed up the wall to enjoy a beautiful and completely free view of the stunning countryside! Don’t waste your money doing otherwise!
Written 6 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chris B
Houston, TX2,795 contributions
A delightful respite from the rest of town
May 2019 • Couples
The Rocca provided a delightful respite from the crowds elsewhere in San Gimignano. My husband climbed to the top of the fortress while I enjoyed the views from below. Someone was playing music within the walls and this added to the experience. The Rocca is only a short walk from the Piazza del Duomo and well worth the time and effort.
Written 28 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

worldreporter
Burlington, Canada65 contributions
Old fortress
Apr 2019 • Couples
The Rocca, the highest ground in San Gimignano houses the remains of a 13 century fortress built to defend against Siena. Great view from the top of the battlements.
Written 23 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Borzov
Rijeka, Croatia4,387 contributions
Great monument
Sep 2018 • Friends
The fortress is easily accessible from Piazza del Duomo, through Piazza delle Erbe, on the right side of the church. It was the castle of Lombard Astolfo, which later served as a Dominican convent. The Florentines built the castle in 1353 as a protection from the possible Siena attacks. It is still an impressive structure with a pentagonal base of almost three hundred meters in perimeter and turrets at every corner.
Written 29 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

PaulB
Maastricht, The Netherlands2,172 contributions
Lovely Views.
Aug 2018 • Couples
The Rocca di Montestaffoli is a short climb from the Piazza del Duomo, crossing the Pazza delle Erbe.
But worth the effort.
Originally, it was a castle of the Lombard Astolfo, later a Dominican Convent.
The fortress was built by the Florentines in the 14th century to protect San Gimignano from possible attacks by Siena or from internal riots that may arise inside the town itself. The fortress housed soldiers under Florentine command. The fortress has a pentagonal base with a perimeter of approx. 280m, turrets on each corner and passages that linked it to the city walls.
It was protected by a front gate and by a drawbridge.
Today only one of the ancient turrets is still safe and open to visitors, and it offers breathtaking views of the historical centre with its unique towers and surrounding countryside.
Written 3 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Taxidevil
Glasgow, UK2,973 contributions
Park with free view
Jun 2018 • Couples
This is a lovely park with a ruined tower, if you don't want to pay to go up one of the towers then this is the place for you . The tower is not too high but as the park itself is on high ground then the view is really good. great place to watch the sunset although it can get busy at that time.
Picnic tables were out when we visited so a nice spot to enjoy .
Written 29 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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