Montalcino, more than wine

Montalcino Landscape

Montalcino is a lovely medieval city in Tuscany majority known due to its outstanding wine: Brunello.
I like wine very much, especially white, however, I don’t dislike reds from time to time.
On a lazy Sunday in the middle of June, my partner and I decided to go to Montalcino and visit the city. I’ve been there from time to time to do some medical examination, however, how many times we do not pay attention to the places we have just under our noses the same places which tourists are coming from all over the world?  I’d say too much. It is nice to be tourists in our own country sometimes.

THE ROUTE

That Sunday was warm enough to choose to go with our Yamaha FZ6. From Colle di Val d’Elsa it takes about an hour to reach Montalcino. We drove along RA 3 (Firenze – Siena) to Siena and then we continued on SR 2 (Strada Provinciale del Brunello) till Montalcino.
Even driving along the Strada del Brunello is an experience since it is possible to admire the beautiful and typical landscapes with hills and, obviously, vineyards.

 

MONTALCINO

On a hill, fortified by his well-preserved full circle of walls, there is the medieval city of Montalcino. With his fairy castle, Montalcino is situated Sud of Siena and West of Pienza in the heart of Val d’Orcia Natural Park. Once you arrive at the top of the hill, a stunning view is opening before your eyes. Hills, vineyards, dirty roads as well as scenic roads, olive groves, and oak trees; the views range from the Monte Amiata to Maremma.

THE CASTLE

Our first stop was at the Fortress. Located in the southern part of the city, the Castle presents a pentagon plan with a tower at each corner. Built in 1361, the castle englobe some of the pre-existing buildings like the ancient basilica now become the chapel of Castello Romitorio.

 

Montalcino Palazzo dei Priori

DOWNTOWN, CURCHES AND CLOCK TOWER

After catching our breath and taking some photos in the castle’s garden, we walked around the small and picturesque alleys of Montalcino.

We continued the visit by discovering the Cathedral of Santissimo Salvatore. The Cathedral is located in the most ancient part of the city, and Agostino Fantastici built it in the XIX century in the neoclassic style.

The In the heart of Montalcino, the square Piazza del Popolo is home to the Palazzo dei Priori. Dated back to the end of the XIII century, on the facade you can admire the coats of the Podestà who ruled the city during the centuries. Just behind Palazzo dei Priori, there is the characteristic medieval clock tower.

MUSEO CIVICO E DIOCESIANO DI ARTE SACRA DI MONTALCINO

Aheading towards the close of our tour and before set the wheels to Sant’Antimo, we decided to visit a museum that includes most of the history and traditions of Montalcino.

The museum is located inside the ex-convent of Sant’Agostino, near the church of Saints Filippo and Giacomo. The underground section is dedicated to the history of the city from the prehistorical era to the Etruscan period. There are displayed many objects found at the near site of Poggio Civitella, Fossa del Tesoro, and Buca di Sant’Antimo.

However, the most important collection is from the medieval era to the XX century. More than 200 pieces of art were collected in 12 rooms among which stand out the crucifix originally located in the Abbey of Sant’Antimo as well as many wooden sculptures by the most important artists of the Middle Ages such as Jacopo della Quercia, Francesco di Valdambrino.

The museum also displays a collection of paintings and photos of the local artist Arturo Luciani.

We ended the visit with a very enjoyable wine tasting.

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