Montepulciano 
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Montepulciano


Montepulciano - Tuscany - Italy -
  605 mt above sea level - population 14,000 
12.5km  E of Pienza; 67km  SE of Siena; 124km  SE of Florence; N of Orvieto 67km ; 186km N of Rome

Montepulciano, renaissance town of Southern Tuscany and important agricultural center, famous for it's  "Nobile" wine. Montepulciano lies on a hilltop in a panoramic position and is surrounded by the 15th century defensive works by "Antonio da Sangallo". Birthplace of the famous poet Agnolo Ambrogini, called "Poliziano", the town thanks to its history, has preserved throughout the centuries many architectural jewels. The beauty of the surrounding countryside as well as the artistic treasures to be found there.

  • Piazza Grande is the real monumental center of Montepulciano and hosts the "Palazzo Comunale ( Town hall ) 15th century, with a big tower from which it is possible to admire the view of the village of Radicofani, the Orcia Valleys and Lake Trasimeno.
     
  • The Cathedral of Montepulciano is a stately building by Ippolito Scalza, ( 1592-1630 ), inside, altar by A. della Robbia, a 14th Century baptismal font and the " Madonna del Pilastro" by Sano di Pietro. On the high altar there is a tripthych by Taddeo di Bartolo ( Assumption, 1401 ) . The overall structure is reminiscent of the palazzo della Signoria in Florence. The rest of the square is surrounded by several elegant buildings : Palazzo Cantucci, by Sangallo, Palazzo Tarugi, in front of the church, by Vignola and next the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo ( XIV century ). Of note is the ancient well " Pozzo dei Grifi e dei Leoni" , dating back to 1520, very nice renaissance work.
     
  • Palazzo Neri-Orselli, 14th Century palace, hosts the Civic Museum of Montepulciano, a very large exhibition of Tuscan paintings.
     
  • Palazzo Bucelli, whose facade is embedded with a patchwork of dozens of Etruscan reliefs and funerary urns.
  • The church of Santa Lucia, preserves a painting by Luca Signorelli.
     
  • Outside the city walls, the church of Sant' Agnese, with a 14th-century portal. Inside, the first chapel on the right has a frescoed Madonna by Simone Martini.
     
The travertine church of San Biagio, out of the city, in the countryside, is characterized by a beautiful dome. It is one of the most significant Renaissance works and masterpiece of Antonio da Sangallo the Elder.

Montepulciano
has many wine shops, (local name is enoteca or cantina) offering the chance to taste the local wine "Nobile di Montepulciano", as well as to have a traditional Tuscan "colazione" or "merenda" (breakfast) with local products: pecorino cheese, salami,  crostini or bruschetta. A real pleasure for the senses !

In Sant'Albino, a small village close to Montepulciano, there are the Thermal Spas of Montepulciano, famous for its waters and mud-baths whose curative benefits have been renowned for centuries.
 

Events

- Il Bruscello :
This festival takes place in the middle of August and on the big stage set up under a symbolic tree, holds a spectacle in period costume, with local life stories and ancient Tuscan songs. More musical shows, theatre productions and exhibitions of figurative art.

- Bravio delle Botti
Barrel-rolling race competition between the 8 quarters of Montepulciano. It takes place on the last Sunday of August and consists in pushing a wine barrel of 85 kg across the narrow streets of the historic city. The festival opens with an historical parade with more than 200 people wearing 14th Century costumes. Each quarter is represented by drummers, flag-wavers, ensigns, ladies, knights, capitains, soldiers and a magistrate.

- Fiera di Sant'Agnese:
Traditional open air market. It take place on the 1st day of May with about 300 exhibitors.

- Fiera della Maestą del Ponte:
Traditional market of Tuscany hosted near the train station, last week-end of September. Many exhibitors.

- Antique fair market : Each 2nd week-end of the month in the historic center of Montepulciano. About 50 exhibitors.

Recommended Restaurants: "Il Cantuccio" good and affordable;  "La Grotta" (close to the church of San Biagio);  and the "Le Logge del Vignola", in the city center, exclusive, excellent, but expensive, approx 40/50 Euros per person, only 22 places,  reserve before.

Buy the wine at : "Vecchia Cantina di Montepulciano",  just outside the city walls, and "Metina" winery close to the only supermarket of Montepulciano.   For high quality wine lovers we suggest  "Cantina REDI", on the top of Montepulciano.



  • By Train : The closest railway station is Chiusi stazione on the main Rome - Florence line: Train schedules

     
    By air  : International flights to Rome or Florence - Domestic flights to Perugia.

 

Montepulciano, Town hall

 

The church of San Biagio

 

 

 

 

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