Passing one cobblestone after another in the buzzing heat, always climbing up the mountain and arriving at a place where Robert Pattinson aka Edward Cullen already stood? You can probably only do that in Montepulciano, a 15.000-inhabitant town in the middle of Tuscany between Florence and Siena. A beautiful Italian town with everything that belongs to an Italian vacation. Almost exactly one year ago I spent a wonderful week there, recently I left you with a few first impressions [click]. But today it finally gets detailed! And a little wistful in view of all the pictures bathed in orange with a dreamlike view over the vineyards. In addition, there are coveted insider tips from my friend Caro, who lived and worked there for half a year.
In my wanderlust post about Italy I already told you how I got to Montepulciano: after two days in Rome we took the train to Montepulciano, alternatively Pisa and Florence airports are nearby. For accommodation I would look at airbnb, we stayed at my friend's place and even had a pool surrounded by rosemary bushes.
Sights in Montepulciano
Montepulciano is small but nice, and the sights are correspondingly small. At the foot of the town is the church of San Biagio – "Beautiful inside and out and you can relax there in the grass," says my friend Caro. In the middle of the old town, on the way to the town hall, is the Torre di Pulcinella. This is a tower where a little clown hits a bell with a hammer every hour on the hour.
Also beautiful is the town hall, in front of which Twilight was filmed, and which provides pleasant shade in summer. Classical concerts are often held in the town hall square, especially in summer. I am not a classical music fan, but this is not to be missed. You can find more information about the Cantiere here. There is more music with the concerts of the European Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Palazzo Ricci.
By the way, a classic of the city is the Bravio delle Botti: on the last Sunday in August, the eight districts of the city fight each other and roll wine barrels up the hill. I definitely have to see this next time.
The most impressive sight is Montepulciano itself, with its winding streets and many viewing opportunities. "My favorite wall is at San Francesco," says insider.
Feasting in Montepulciano
Montepulciano is home to traditional Tuscan cuisine, which definitely includes pici. Pici (pronounced pischi) are slightly thicker rolled pasta. The following culinary tips come from Caro, who has spotted the best food locations in six months:
- Typical Italian breakfast at Piazza delle Erbe: an espresso at the bar while standing and "Una dolce" to go with it
- Coffee and cake should be taken in the "Caffe Poliziano. The oldest cafe in the city. A bit more expensive, but great flair and hammer view.
- Homemade "Pici aglio e olio" and "Gnocchi al salmone" from Marcella. The restaurant is called "Il Cittino. It looks a bit run down from the outside and is also unusual from the inside. But she makes the best typical Tuscan food in the whole place.
- Pizza at the "Cangnano" or at "3 Stelle. This is outside, but worth it for the thin, crispy base of the pizza.
- For ice cream it is best to go to the neighboring town of Pienza. I also found the ice cream parlor in town near the bell ringing clown very tasty!
- Of course you can't forget to try the wine. Enotecen are enough. Worth seeing is the wine cellar directly under Palazzo Ricci.
Shopping in Montepulciano
For a small town Montepulciano has some nice stores, especially in the lower part of town by the Torre di Pucinella. Here there are smaller boutiques that offer inexpensive leather goods or particularly beautiful jewelry. I fell a little in love with the jewelry and the ring I bought is still a joy to this day. As self-caterers, we also went grocery shopping, but one thing you have to know: Bread Italians can not. No matter what kind of wine we tried, it just didn't taste good. Not even the Ciabatta, which I usually associate with delicious Italian bread. Better go for a lot of pasta and vegetables, it tastes unbeatable delicious.
And otherwise on the program: relaxing in Montepulciano! Italy is a vacation for the soul and besides you get a nice tan, whether in the old town streets or by the pool. The best way to get infected by the Italian way of life is to go to the weekly market. Every Thursday you can buy delicious and cheap fruits and vegetables at the bus station.
Do you also feel like Italy?
One last insider tip for the area (again from expert Caro): MonteAmiata with its hot springs.