One of the most fascinating Renaissance villages of Tuscany is located about 1 hour drive from Siena traveling south, on top of the highest hill overlooking the Val di Chiana; I’m talking about Montepulciano.
Its history begins at the time of the Etruscans who first patrolled the area, passing through the subsequent occupation of the Romans, who transformed it into a permanent military camp exploiting its strategic position. Montepulciano was a primary center of commerce due to its proximity to important cities such as Assisi, Perugia and Orvieto and in the long war between Siena and Florence the city did not always manage to maintain its independence but prospered until the 16th century when it was finally annexed to the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Most of the historic buildings in the center were built in the Middle Ages and enlarged in the Renaissance along the splendid streets that start from Piazza Grande.
Around the square there are the most beautiful and evocative buildings, such as the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta with its unfinished facade and the Town Hall of Michelozzo which recalls the famous Palazzo della Signoria in Florence; “I also recommend visiting the historic Talosa and De’Ricci cellars, built in the underground of historic buildings owned by important families whose names they still bear today.”
Cantine storica De’Ricci
A short distance from Piazza Grande you can reach the pretty square dedicated to St. Francis and once there look out from the city walls to admire from above the splendid Church of San Biagio.
Chiesa di San Biagio
The course is a beautiful walk and is full of shops and shops selling typical products, including the Nobile di Montepulciano wine, one of the great names of Tuscan wines together with Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino.
It is good to keep in mind that Montepulciano was built on top of a high hill of which Piazza Grande is the highest point and going down the main street you reach the splendid Porta al Prato, the entrance to the historic center through the medieval walls . To visit it you need to be prepared for a long walk through its many climbs and descents, but the beauty and tranquility of the Tuscan town is a reward enough for the visitor.
Porta al Prato
Tour leader who has worked for years as a private driver at the most important agency in San Gimignano. Graduated in philosophy and passionate about local history, he deals with consulting and communication for the organization of the tourism sector of this company.
Cell. (+39) 320 645 2551