Montalcino lies in the heart of southern Tuscany, famous for its fine wines and dreamy landscapes. It is located south of Siena in a the stunning UNESCO-recognized Val d'Orcia, near some of Tuscany's well-known towns like Pienza and Montepulciano. The country drives through the quintessential landscapes alone is worth the visit.
Back in the Middle Age, this area used to be divided into four ecclesiastic districts: Arezzo, Chiusi, Grosseto and Siena. This division reflected the ancient Etruscan lucumons (magistrate districts) of Arezzo, Chiusi, Roselle and Volterra. Many artifacts of that age have been preserved in the local Archaeological Museum of Montalcino.
The local history is famous for a number of mysterious stories and tales that throughout the decades have been handed down from generation to generation, thus keeping its folklore alive. The main reason for all this mysterious origin of the village is due to the destruction of the Abbazia of St Antimo, where the ancient archives had retained.
The area used to be a collection of city-states that were in constant struggle among each other. In the 12th century, the town was hotly contended between Siena and Florence. Very soon Montalcino had to preserve its freedom from the threat of Siena, when the dark menace of a war was surrounding the duchy of Tuscany. The ancient castle was conquered and destroyed by Siena, but later on it was reoccupied by the local noble families, thanks to the help of Florence, which was Siena’s arch enemy, constantly contending for wealth and prestige of the area.
Once Montalcino got back to Siena in 1269, in order to avoid other defeats and to ensure a peaceful era, it built a new castle: the so-called “Rocca”, with the aim to control the centre of the town. The castle is still intact and is a symbol of Montalcino and its people. It's a classic example of a medieval Italian castle. It was built following the ancient town walls, with pentagonal plan with towers in each of the five corners. Inside is the abbey. Going down to the centre, you will certainly notice the Monastery of St Agostino and a lovely church dated back to the XIV century, followed by Palazzo Vescovile.
The history and culture provides visitors a unique experience to really immerse in the eras of the town. Meander around the old town centre with all its narrow and lovely streets, and you can’t help but fall in love with the magical atmosphere of a Tuscan town.
Strongly linked with the local culture and history, is "the local star" and the primary vocation - the Brunello of Montalcino. This is a MUST for anyone hanging around Tuscany and who is after the real, unique experience of the most famous Italian lifestyle - to sit on a piazza sipping a glass of famous vino.
Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino. Brunello, is the unofficial name of the clone of Sangiovese grapes grown in the Montalcino region. The Brunello di Montalcino was awarded the first Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) almost thirty years ago and that was just the beginning of an astonishing “career” for the local wine, that has become The Definitive Italian vintage for all the wine connoisseurs. It is indeed one of the Italy's best-known and most expensive wines ever, but It’s definitely worth it.
Like every single village in Tuscany, Montalcino has plenty of delicious food and wine tours; there are many to choose from and you’ll be regaled with the tastes and smells of the famous region. Tasting wine, enjoying excellent meals, having a sip of grappa or vin santo at the end of the meal, walking around the hills and along the river, feeling the warm sun- sigh; it is just what you've been waiting for! We take care of the excellent accommodations for you, so you just need to arrive and relax and soak it all in!
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