Exploring Montepulciano Tuscany

Church in the hills leading to Montepulciano

I returned from visiting the Siena province of Tuscany recently. The purpose of my visit was to inspect properties and become familiar with the region. It is a beautiful agricultural area that is known for its wine and some of the most famous wine villages in Italy.   I have always enjoyed Tuscany for its landscape and medieval hilltop villages enclosed by ancient walls.  The towns I visited were in the southern part of the Siena province were:  Montalcino,  Montepulciano. During my second week, I moved further north closer to Siena and in the Chianti region and the towns I visited were Radda in Chianti, Gaoile in Chianti and Castelnuovo Beradenga.
Montepulciano Town Square
Montepulciano Town Square
The first week  the first week I stayed in Montepulciano and drove back and forth to Montalcino almost every other day and during the trip I would pass through Pienza and Val di Orcia.  All of these towns are found in the southern section of the Siena Provence, only a  3 hour drive from the Rome airport.  The towns are small: Montepulciano’s  population is 14,000 and Montalcino’s population is 5,000.
The landscape in this area is amazing; planted along the highest point on the horizon are cypress trees or they zig zag beside roads that lead to a farmhouse.  Beautifully plowed fields cover the hills and  change colors depending on the type of soil;  giving them an austere and dramatic look. Shiny green grey leaves of the olive tree create highlights and reflect an iridescent color when the sun shines on them. And the grape vineyards appear as burning bushes with their yellow and red leaves aglow in the fall season. The structure of the organized rows of olive trees and grape vineyards create a patchwork of colors on the soft gentle slopes of the Tuscany countryside.

Montepulciano Tuscany Attractions

Montepulciano is a perfect place to plunk yourself down in Tuscany for a week.  It is only 13 kilometers to Pienza, 30 KM to Montalcio and 20 KM to Val di Orcia.

The Montepulciano village dates back to the Etruscans which lived in this region in the first century BC.  One of the characteristics of an Etruscan village is that it was built  on the top of a hill with a commanding view of the surrounding area.  Montepulciano architecture and art grew in prominence during the 1500′s when Montepulciano became politically aligned with Florence.
Getting around Montepulciano is easy. The town is has restricted car access to the historic area and there is a free parking lot outside the main city wall entrance. Once inside the walls all the roads lead upwards toward the Piazza Grande.  There are also multiple signs  that will keep you pointed in the right direction. The walk is enjoyable with cafes, wine stores, and produce stores selling sausages and cheese from the local farmers that line the small narrow winding streets where you can stop and shop.
In the valley surrounding the hill that leads up to Montepulciano is a beautiful Renaissance church, Madonna di San Biagio.  You can view the church as you drive on the road either going to or coming from Pienza.  Surrounding the base of the church is a forest.   During the afternoon; the sun highlights the church reflecting the golden-yellow travertine building. To visit our properties in Tuscany, click here.

The winding streets of Montepulciano Tuscany
The winding streets of Montepulciano Tuscany
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