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Having just around 48 hours to spend in Tuscany on a stopover in Italy meant that we needed to choose our destinations well. Fortunately our travel advisor George who was with us on the trip is an Italy expert and a Tuscany guru. Montepulciano was decidedly the first stop and here’s what impressed us about the place.
The Tuscan countryside at the foothills of the city is considered some of the most beautiful in all of Italy. Its hard to make it into the city for wanting to stop every five minutes and take panoramic photos. There are great restaurants in the city itself, but if one prefers even more dramatic dining, head to a nearby farm to have a picnic right in the vineyards like at Caseficio Cugusi Silvana, where you can have a full view of the city too.
Nestled among the dramatic Val d’Orcia and Valdichiana drive your car up the winding roads into Montepulciano itself. There were plenty of public parking lots available even with a city holiday in full swing.
The city itself offers many Medieval wonders perfectly preserved and if you’re lucky enough to see a cultural display (like on the last sunday of August) of noble families dressed in their medieval wardrobe celebrating the various neighborhoods. It can easily be seen in around 2 hours giving enough time to explore a little bit of everything.
Walking the streets there is the typical array of churches, restaurants, cafes and museums. Montepulciano a tourist vibe to be sure, although it is not as inundated as some other top tier Tuscan destinations. It feels very authentic and inviting.
The roadways are at a pretty steep incline as the city winds ever upward. The Vino Nobile wine is cherished and sold with gusto and local shops showcase the field and forest goods which the abundant landscape produces, from wild board salami to the most beautiful truffles and cheeses.
A great way to end your tour of Montepulciano is by taking in the vast valley below from a panoramic cafe. With an unmistakably Italian cappuccino in hand and the amber valley dotted with pointy cypress trees life can’t seem to get much more perspective.