Montepulciano is a hilltop medieval town of rare beauty in the Tuscany region of Italy. Montepulciano is not far from Siena and should be added in your list of tourist attractions if you are in Tuscany. You are surely going to enjoy the wonderful charm of this town which is full of elegant Renaissance Palaces, ancient churches, hidden corners, and charming squares. The town is surrounded by beautiful valleys such as Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia and has wonderful spots to enjoy panoramic views.
Montepulciano is also a wonderful base if you want to further explore the charming villages of Tuscany. The town also got famous after shooting of the movie “Twilight sequel New Moon” which started attracting a lot of visitors who wanted to explore it. The small town is ideal for beautiful walks with stunning views of the countryside covered with vineyards that produce the famous wine “Nobile”. Visitors are charmed by family-owned shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars where they can taste some of the best wines of Italy. In fact, the underground cellars of Montepulciano are very famous and attract many tourists and wine lovers.
9 Things to Do in Montepulciano Italy
Piazza Grande has been the most famous gathering spot for the residents of Montepulciano since centuries. It is located at the highest spot in the town and is an ideal point to start your exploration. If you have seen the Movie “Twilight New Moon”, you will notice that this Piazza was used in its scenes.
One of the best experiences in Piazza Grande is to take a seat in the local cafes and absorb the atmosphere where you can enjoy watching the resident culture and visitors. You can also walk around and admire the wonderful architecture around the piazza such as Pallazo Comunale and the town hall. Because of its height, you can also enjoy wonderful views of the surroundings of Montepulciano.
Montepulciano Fortress is located at the top of the town near the Porta al Prato. It was originally built in 1261 but since then it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. Now the fortress has been restored and has become a famous space for exhibition and for the Enoliteca Consortile wine bar which showcases and offers tasting of the famous Vino Nobile.
The wine bar has a glass floor which lets you see Etruscan ruins underfoot. The bar also has a wonderful terrace from where you can absorb the magnificent views of the town and its surroundings while enjoying the wine.
Churches in Montepulciano Italy
- Montepulciano Cathedral is also known as Montepulciano Duomo and is located on the Piazza Grande. This cathedral was built between 1586 and 1680 and was designed by Ippolito Scalza. The cathedral has gone through many changes and does not look exactly the same as it was originally. The façade and some parts of the cathedral are still incomplete, but it is still a place of wonderful experience. The interior and the works of art such as Madonna del Pilastro and Assumption of the Virgin are highly admired by the visitors.
- Church of Sant’Agostino was built in 1285 and is the oldest church in the town. The church was restored in the 15th century and has been renovated many times since then. The interior of the church is beautifully decorated by frescos and work of art that include the Madonna and Child by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and the Temptation of Saint Anthony by Rutilio Manetti.
- Another famous church in Montepulciano is known as Church of the Madonna di San Biagio. This church is also called as the of Temple of San Biago and was built between 1518 and 1540. It is one of the beautiful masterpieces of Italian Renaissance architecture. This church is located below the town at the entrance.
Museo Civico di Montepulciano Italy
Museo Civico di Montepulciano is a great place to learn the history of the town through paintings, artifacts, and exhibitions. The museum is located in the 14th century Pallazo Neri Orselli. Most of the display information is in Italian language but you can use an English audio guide for a better experience. The Portrait of a Nobleman by Caravaggio and the Terracotta by Luca della Robbia are the famous exhibits among the collection of the museum.
II Corso in Montepulciano Italy
II Corso is the main street of Montepulciano town and it is famous for lovely strolls along the beautiful buildings and Palazzos. Here you will also see some spectacular homes which once belonged to the town’s wealthiest and most powerful persons. These homes are not open for public viewing, but you can always admire the structures from outside. The main street of the town is also filled with many cafes, restaurants, and shops to entertain the visitors.
Vino Nobile & the Underground Cellars
Montepulciano is one of the most favorite town for red wine lovers as there are a lot of wine tasting opportunities all around the corner. The region is already very famous for the “Vino Nobile” which has been the preferred wine of kings, nobility and the religious leaders in Italy. Vino Nobile can only be produced in Montepulciano by law and must contain at least 70% sangiovese and must be aged for a minimum of two years.
Wine tasting is actually one of the top things to do in this wonderful town and centuries old underground wine cellars have become a great attraction for the tourists. These wine cellars caves date back to the Etruscan times. You can book a tour of these historical cellars and mix your wine tasting with sightseeing, history added with food tasting.
You can also head out of the town to experience the serene vineyards and get tours with wine tasting in the beautiful natural countryside. Some of these tours also include a balloon ride over the Tuscan countryside which is surely spice up the vineyard tours.
Thermal Baths in Montepulciano Italy
The thermal baths of the town are one of the great relaxation spots around ten minutes’ walk from the town center. These thermal baths are famous for their healing properties and superb spa treatments. The visitors love a lot of walking activities in the town and these thermal baths provide an excellent half day recreational place to unwind. You can book massages or workout in the fitness area or can swim and float in the Sulphur waters.
We know that the Montepulciano is a hilltop town that offers amazing views of the Tuscany countryside. Orfanotrofio Antoniano is the place where you will find that perfect lookout spot for panoramic views. You should not miss the sunset view from this location which lets you absorb the wonderful atmosphere and scenery across the Valley, hills, and mountains.
Food and Shopping in Montepulciano Italy
The whole region of Tuscany is famous for food, wine, and shopping and Montepulciano also has a long list of special food items. The pastas, spaghetti, region’s special olives, honey and many other special dishes entertain the food lovers. Cooking classes are also one of the famous things to do in Tuscany and you can take part in them in many cities and town of this region.
Shopping is also a great way to entertain yourself especially in a region where leather products are pretty amazing and of high quality. If you have been to Florence, you will notice that prices here are comparatively cheaper. There is a wide variety of products which you can buy in this town including quality fabrics, beddings, towels, diaries, and household items. The products made of olive wood are considered a specialty of the town and are available at many shops.
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