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Montemurato

Montemurato

Montemurato ("walled mountain"[1]) is an independent city-state located in northeastern Talia, close to Bellezza and Padavia (Italy's Venice and Padua respectively). Montemurato is known as the "City of Towers" and is fortified by twelve watchtowers.[2] It is the setting of the short story A Talian Tale.

The city is the Talian equivalent of Monteriggioni, which is geographically located near Siena (the Italian counterpart of Remora) in Italy.

RulingEdit

Around 1450, Montemurato was ruled by a prince[3], whose only child, Princess Florabella of Montemurato, appears in a common folk tale explaining the origin of the city's Festa delle Strega.

The city eventually came to be ruled by an elected governor. As of 1579, the position is currently held by Messer Giorgio[4].

Notable SightsEdit

Montemurato is famous for the twelve watchtowers that encircle and dominate most of the city. The city's legends state that the towers were originally real giants who turned to stone in order to guard a treasure, which was the city of Montemurato.[5] The towers are occupied by guards, who watch for visitors entering the city and issue passes to travellers. The streets are cobbled and most of the houses are tall and crooked.[2]

Many houses in Montemurato have "doors of death," which are doors above a house's main door that were installed to facilitate carrying coffins out of the house. The doors are about three feet square and were installed around twenty-years earlier, when the Great Plague swept through Montemurato in 1552.[2]

The city also has an ancient university[4], a museum, many churches, and a small observatory at the top

Industry and FestivitiesEdit

Festa delle strega

Festa della Strega

Montemurato is known for its studies in astrology, so its industries include producing equipment such telescopes, astrolabes, and armillary spheres.[4]

The city's main festival is the Festa delle Strega where they burn stuffed "witches" (or strega, which is the Talian word for witch) on bonfires and drink strega, an alchoholic drink[2]. The festival's origins are based on a folk tale involving a witch who cursed Montemurato to burn until the witch herself was consumed after being defeated by Princess Florabella of Montemurato. To save the city, an effigy in the witch's image was burned and the people celebrated by consuming "strega", a newly invented beverage.[6]

Notable PeopleEdit

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  1. City of Masks
    "Montemurato," said Rodolfo, reining the steaming horse in to a walk. "The walled mountain."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 City of Masks
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 A Talian Tale
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 A Guide to Talia
  5. A Talian Tale
    “Now answer me this: where do twelve giants guard a treasure?”
    Florabella pretended to think but she didn’t really need to; she had known this story since her babyhood. But she answered slowly.
    “This city of Montemurato. The giants are the twelve towers in the walls. The story says they were once real giants, turned to stone by time and the treasure they guard is our precious city itself.”
  6. A Talian Tale, Author's Note
    "Note: My apologies to the good people of Naples, who in Italy created the powerful drink called “Strega”. The equivalent city-state in Talia, known as Cittanuova, had nothing to do with the invention of this favourite tipple of Enrico the spy."


Locations in Talia
Independent City-States
Bellezza · Padavia · Classe · Montemurato · Romula · Cittanuova
Di Chimici City-States
Giglia · Remora · Fortezza · Bellona · Volana · Moresco
Other Locations
Burlesca · Torrone · Merlino · Santa Fina · Belle Vigne · Saint-Mary-among-the-Vines