Montepulciano, is a renaissance town in Southern Tuscany and an important agricultural center, famous for it’s “Nobile” wine. Montepulciano lies on a hilltop in a panoramic position and is surrounded by the 15th century defensive works by “Antonio da Sangallo”. Birthplace of the famous poet Agnolo Ambrogini, called “Poliziano”. Thanks to its history throughout the centuries, the town has preserved many architectural jewels and artistic treasures along side the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.
◦ Piazza Grande is the real monumental center of Montepulciano and hosts the “Palazzo Comunale” (Town hall) 15th century, with a big tower from which it is possible to admire the view of the village of Radicofani, the Orcia Valleys and Lake Trasimeno.
◦ The Cathedral of Montepulciano is a stately building by Ippolito Scalza, (1592-1630 , inside, altar by A. della Robbia, a 14th century baptismal font and the ” Madonna del Pilastro” by Sano di Pietro. On the high altar there is a tripthych by Taddeo di Bartolo (Assuunption, 1401).
The overall structure is reminiscent of the palazzo della Signoria in Florence. The rest of the square is surrounded by several elegant buildings: Palazzo Cantucci, by Sangallo, Palazzo Tarugi, in front of the church, by Vignola and next the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo (XIV century). Of note is the ancient well “Pozzo dei Grifi e dei Leoni”, dating back to 1520 it illustrates very nice renaissance work.
◦ Palazzo Neri-Orselli, 14th century palace, hosts the Civic Museum of Montepulciano, a very large exhibition of Tuscan paintings.
◦ Palazzo Bucelli, whose facade is embedded with a patchwork of dozens of Etruscan reliefs and funerary urns.
◦ The church of Santa Lucia, preserves a painting by Luca Signorelli.
◦ Outside the city walls, the church of Sant’ Agnese, with a 14th century portal. Inside, the first chapel on the right has a frescoed Madonna by Simone Martini.
The travertine church of San Biagio, outside of the city, in the countryside, is characterized by a beautiful dome. It is one of the most significant Renaissance works and masterpiece of Antonio da Sangallo the Elder.
Montepulciano has many wine shops, (local name is enoteca or cantina) offering the chance to taste the local wine “Nobile di Montepulciano”, as well as, to have a traditional Tuscan “colazione” or “merenda” (breakfast) with local products: pecorino cheese, salami, crostini or bruschetta. A real pleasure for the senses!
In Sant’Albino, a small village close to Montepulciano, there are the Thermal Spas of Montepulciano, famous for its waters and mud-baths whose curative benefits have been renowned for centuries.
Web site: www.montepulciano.com
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