Montepulciano, located in the heart of Tuscany is one of Italy’s most charming medieval walled hill towns. We wanted a true taste of Tuscany while in Italy, so we chose Montepulciano in the Siena province for our stay.
Where is Montepulciano?
Montepulciano is located in the province of Siena in Southern Tuscany. It is set in the heart of the Tuscan countryside in the Vino Nobile wine region sitting high atop a limestone ridge on Monte Poliziano. The area is known for its great production of red wines. The most famous being the Nobile di Montepulciano, one of the most appreciated Italian wines in all of Italy.
The vineyards in Tuscany are located in some of Italy’s most beautiful landscapes. The countryside is made up of rolling hills, farms, rows of cypress trees, olive groves and vineyards.
What is Montepulciano?
Montepulciano is a medieval walled hill town founded in the 3rd – 4th centuries BC. Famous for its remarkable medieval grandeur and architecture of Renaissance and Baroque design as well as its famed Vino Nobile wine produced in the surrounding countryside. It is a renaissance town and one of the most attractive hill towns in all of Tuscany.
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This was our first view of Montepulciano in Tuscany. It was awe-inspiring and we eagerly anticipation entering this famed walled town.
Here you will find one of the most impressive central squares in Tuscany, the Piazza Grande, which is surrounded by historic Renaissance buildings. We were amazed at the amount of visual wear that could be seen on the steps entering many of the buildings. Worn by the footsteps of people passing through these doors over the centuries, the wear is evident in these images.
Town Hall is located on the west side of the Piazza Grande, was constructed at the end of the 14th century and is one of the main buildings in Piazza Grande. For Twilight fans – this is where parts of The Twilight Saga: New Moon were shot.
Palazzo Nobili-Tarugi, in the Piazza Grande, is a majestic Renaissance palace. Its façade is made entirely of travertine. It is one of the most noted in the area for its architectural characteristics which are original making it unique. Note the worn steps and cobblestone street.
Duomo of Montepulciano, or the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, was built between 1594 and 1680. The façade has never been completed but the 14th century bell tower, which belonged to the demolished St. Mary Parish Church, remains unaltered.
Where We Stayed in Montepulciano
We stayed at Palazzo Bellarmino, which is an historic building located just steps from the main Piazza. Our “room” was actually a huge apartment with a fully equipped kitchen and stunning views of the Tuscan countryside. As in most Tuscan hill towns, you will need to park your car in one of the public lots outside the walled city. It is not a far walk to the hotel.
The Palazzo Bellarmino Courtyard is located in the center of the hotel. The architecture in this historic building is impressive. We found the staff to be extremely friendly and helpful. Although we arrived late, they were waiting for us with a warm welcome, showed us to our room and informed us about things to do in town. I would highly recommend Palazzo Bellarmino. You will find many great restaurants and small delis all within walking distance of the hotel.
Our evening walk took us to Porta al Prato, the entrance gate just as the sun was beginning to set. The golden glow in the sky set the mood exactly the way we had envisioned Tuscany to be.
Cafes line the quaint cobblestone streets. It’s easy to get lost in time as you stroll through this romantic hill town.
Cafes, or bars, as they are known in Italy have a warm inviting look. Walking through the narrow cobblestones streets in the evening, trying to decide where to eat was more fun than actual stopping to eat. Who needs food when you can admire scenes like this?
But all the walking did work up an appetite so we settled on a small café, sat down and enjoyed our food. I don’t recall the name of the café we chose but like most cafes and restaurants in town, the atmosphere and the food were unforgettable.
When in the Tuscan region of Italy, I would highly recommend a visit to this famous walled city. And of course, for all the Twilight fans out there, the second episode of the “Twilight Saga: New Moon” was filmed in Montepulciano. You can arrange a tour of the filming sites and follow where your favorite actors and actresses went while they were here filming.
So ended our first day exploring scenic Tuscany and Montepulciano.
Taste the wine, enjoy the view and explore around every corner…you will be inspired by Tuscany. I know we were.
Have you been to the Tuscany region in Italy or is it on your bucket list? Leave your comments below, we’d like to hear from you too!