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Wednesday 24 July 2024
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Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani
Sapori Tipici Toscani

Montalcino and the Land of Brunello

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One of the many small towns in the beautiful Val d’Orcia, Montalcino stands at roughly 567 metres above sea level.

The magnificent 14th century fortress was built by the Senese and dominates both the town and the surrounding hills, which are planted with vineyards.

This was the final resistance of the Republic of Siena before it capitulated to the imperial troops of Charles V, who was allied with Florence. Today the fortress has been converted into an elegant wine tasting centre for tourists, who are free to walk the bastions as they sip, perhaps also nibbling at the Ossi di morto traditional biscuits made in Montalcino.

Made up of picturesque, narrow streets, Montepulciano boasts abundant craftmen’s workshops, bars and shops selling the many local products from the surrounding countryside. The Romanesque gothic Palazzo Comunale is well worth a visit, along with the Palazzo Vescovile that houses the Museo Diocesano. There are also the Museo Civico, the Museo Archeologico and the Churches of Sant’Egidio and San Francesco.

Just outside town stands the magnificent Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a typical example of Romanesque architecture, where the monks have kept alive the traditional Gregorian chant and sing during Mass. The abbey was founded by Charlemagne in 781. Built in travertine, the architectural decorations are in onyx, from the many onyx and alabaster quarries in the surrounding area.

The excellent wines produced around Montalcino have been prized since the 15th century and have contributed to making this town famous throughout the world. The ‘inventor’ of Brunello was Ferruccio Biondi-Santi, who decided to begin producing a wine using only Sangiovese grapes towards the middle of the 19th century, abandoning the Canaiolo, Ciliegino and Colorino grapes that had previously been employed in the Montalcino area.

The first Italian wine to earn the coveted DOGT (Denominazione di origine controllata e garantita) qualification, Brunello di Montalcino wine has also been classified DOC (Denominazione di origine controllata). Clear and red in colour, the bouquet is intense, almost heady, but with a strong spicy tinge. The wine can stand long ageing, that runs from a minimum of 10 years to a maximum of 30 or more. The serving temperature should be between 18 and 20°C.

Brunello di Montalcino is particularly good with red meat, game, roast meat, as well as with cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano and Tuscan pecorino. Other wines also produced in the surrounding area include Rosso di Montalcino, Moscadello di Montalcino and Sant’Antimo, which have all earned the DOC quality certificate. But in terms of production, the province of is renowned throughout the world as one of the leading wine areas.



  General information
Town map 
Siena in the Renaissance 
Siena in the Middle Ages 
Siena in Antiquity 

  Transport in town
Map of Hotels in Siena 
Town Map Siena 

  Transport out of town
Train services 

  Where to Stay
Farm Holidays and Country Houses  
Residence, Apartments 
Bed & Breakfasts 
Historical Residences 

Reservation Services Siena 
Last Minute Siena 

  Where to eat and drink
Disco Dancing 
Pubs & Wine Bar 

Siena University 
University for Foreigners 

  Art and monuments
Palazzo Piccolomini and Palazzo delle Papesse 
Palazzo Chigi-Saracini 
Palazzo d’Elci degli Alessi 
Loggia della Mercanzia 
Palazzo Sansedoni 
Palazzo Chigi-Zondadari 
Fonte Gaia fountain 
Carthusian Monastery of Pontignano  
Forte di Santa Barbara 

  Art and religion
Church of Sant’Agostino 
The Duomo – The Cathedral of the Assunta 
Church of the Osservanza  
The Oratory of San Bernardino 
Church of San Francesco 
Short Biography of St Catherine of Siena  
St Catherine Sanctuary 
Church of S. Niccolò al Carmine 

  Museums and galleries
The Museo Civico 
Bologna-Buonsignori museum 
Accademia dei Fisiocritici 
I Musei Senesi 

  Art and tourist attractions
Cappella di Piazza 
The Palazzo Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia 
Piazza del Campo 
The Montagnola Senese and the Fortified Village of Sovicille 
The Castles of Belcaro and Quattro Torri 


  The Palio of Siena
The Origins 
The July and August Palio 
The Contrade 
The Days of the Palio 
The Drappellone 
The Eve of the Palio 
The Corteo Storico Procession 
The Race 
The Patron Saint and Oratory of Each Contrada 
Weekly Appointments in each Contrada from April onwards 

Via di Città (formerly Via Galgaria), Siena’s Most Elegant Street 
Croce del Travaglio Place 
From Piazza del Campo to the Duomo Along Via di Città 
The Curves of Piazza del Campo 
Costarella dei Barbieri street 
Borgo d’Ovile 
The Terzo of Camollia – main streets 
Casato di Sopra e Casato di Sotto 
Terzo di San Martino district  
The Terzo di Città District - Via Stalloreggi, Via San Quirico 
The Terzo di Città District – The Pinacoteca Nazionale 

  What to see & do
Wedding in Siena 
Golf courses in Siena and Tuscany 
Wedding in Tuscany - Siena area 
San Casciano dei Bagni 
Chianciano Terme 
Bagni San Filippo 
Bagno Vignoni 
Rapolano Terme - Baths of San Giovanni and Baths of the Antica Querciolaia 
The Countryside around Siena and its Thermal Water Springs 

  Monte Amiata
Monte Amiata - nature tourism the year round 
SkiPass Monte Amiata 
WebCam sul Monte Amiata 
Meteo Monte Amiata 

  Specials - Out of town
Gift Ideas for traveling 
The Val d’Orcia and Its Main Towns 
Pienza - the old town centre 
Montepulciano - the old town centre 
San Quirico d’Orcia - the old town centre 
Montalcino and the Land of Brunello 
The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the Crete 
The Crete Senesi 
Castellina in Chianti and the Via Chiantigiana Towards Siena 
Siena and Southern Chianti - from the Castle of Montalto to the Castle of Brolio and on to the Castle of Meleto 
The Chianti Hills - Monte Calvo, Monte Luco and Monte San Michele 
Cortona and the Valdichiana 
San Gimignano - The old town centre and its major sights 
The Val d’Elsa - Monteriggioni and Colle di Val d’Elsa 
Along the Old Via Francigena 

  Typical products
Typical Tuscan flavours 
Oleum Evo online selling 
Sapori Tipici Italiani buy online now 
il Prosciutto Cotto