When you think of the Tuscan countryside, you think of Montepulciano. Lying where the Val D'Orcia meets Valdichiana, it sits atop a limestone promontory. Strolling through the town centre is lovely and affords a glimpse of the travertine temple of the Madonna di San Biagio standing just outside the walls which, some say, was the inspiration for Michelangelo's first drawings of the basilica of Saint Peter's in Rome. A walk along the elegant Corso Montepulciano, a sophisticated 16th century street, reveals some mighty aristocratic palaces. Continue along Via Gracciano, where you can admire the spectacular 15th century church of Saint Augustine, until you reach Piazza Michelozzo, where the Pulcinella Clock Tower draws curious stares when the clown strikes the hour.
Local cuisine, traditional dishes, interesting facts
Montepulciano is renowned for its Vino Nobile, made with grapes from the vineyards surrounding the town, and is considered one of the top Tuscan wines in the world. Nobile di Montepulciano is pure emotion in a glass and the perfect accompaniment to traditional Tuscan cooking: Chianina beef, Tuscan cured meats, wild boar and soups are all served in the many restaurants in the town, following the classic recipe or revisited according to the seasons and the chef's own personal style.
Where to eat enjoying a bottle
of Acqua San Benedetto
Osteria La Dogana
Via Lauretana Nord, 75, Valiano