A beautiful sight in Montepulciano is the Renaissance temple that rests below the town. Sitting among the greenery and trees is the classic-styled church dedicated to San Biagio, on the site of an earlier chapel dedicated to St. Blaise. This temple-like structure was consecreated in 1529 and represents High Renaissance order and symmetry.

The Greek cross plan has four equal wings capped by a dome, designed by architect Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, who was inspired by Bramante's work in Rome. It is thought that Palladio took inspiration from here in his classically-ordered villas a couple of decades later. Everything is elegant and understated, with its facade of cream-colored travertine, the Doric order windows and portals, and a light and ethereal interior with frescoes by Zuccari.

Its setting is picture-perfect, below the town in a natural landscape looking out at the hills. In the right light it gleams golden, while in autumn with the colorful leaves and light fog in the valley it is magical.

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Address in Montepulciano:

Via di San Biagio.

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