Located on the top of a hill, not far from Siena, Montepulciano is a medieval town of rare beauty - a jewel of the Renaissance in Tuscany, which is definitely worth a visit. It is a unique village with elegant Renaissance-style buildings and delightful hidden corners. From the viewpoints, you can enjoy a beautiful panorama of the Val d’Orcia and Val di Chiana.
Recently, Montepulciano has increased its fame all over the world, after being the filming location of "New Moon," the sequel to the famous vampire saga "Twilight."
Piazza Grande is a large Renaissance space, the heart of Montepulciano. It overlooks the Cathedral, the City Hall, and some historic noble buildings. A walk through the alleys of Montepulciano is the best way to discover the city and its features. The pleasure is to admire the incredible panorama of the surrounding countryside, with the exceptional vineyards of the famous Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
A strong testimony of the artist Antonio da Sangallo the Elder is the elegant "Pozzo dei Grifi e dei Leoni," which recalls the alliance of Montepulciano (the snouts) with Florence (the lions). Another great Renaissance architect who was very active in Montepulciano was Michelozzo; he was responsible for the restoration of the Town Hall. In front of the Town Hall stands the Cathedral with its unfinished facade.
Near the square, the Civic Museum and Pinacoteca Crociani are remarkable testimonies of the Tuscan art from the '300 to the' 500 - in the middle of the Renaissance. Going down, you will arrive at the most beautiful church in the city: Sant’Agostino. Founded in the '200, it was modernized by Michelozzo, the author of the magnificent terracotta lunette on the portal. Inside, you will see a wooden crucifix by Antonio da Sangallo.
Among the green panoramas of the Val di Chiana, at the foot of Montepulciano, this church stands alone. Designed by Antonio da Sangallo, the Elder, thanks to its severe elegance, it is one of the masterpieces of Renaissance architecture. It has nothing to envy from the dome of the Florence Cathedral or other great Renaissance works.
The church of San Biagio was built on a project by Antonio da Sangallo, the Elder, and the choice of the place is due to the miracle that occurred in the pre-existing parish church of San Biagio. One day, two servicewomen and a shepherd boy, while entering the ruined parish church, saw the Madonna in a fresco opening and closing her eyes as if she were alive. This continued in the following days and brought other unexplained miracles and healings. Being grateful, Pope Leo X Medici established this imposing church, which arose in the place of the wonder. And he entrusted the design and construction to Antonio da Sangallo, whom he preferred to Baldassarre Peruzzi and even to Michelangelo.
One of the characteristics of the church is that it is covered with travertine marble, which gives the impression that its color is changing at different times of the day. In fact, it goes from golden white in the summer mornings to a harmonious orange in the autumn days. The main image in the church is the fragment of the miraculous fresco, which was recovered from the parish church. It depicts the Madonna and Child with Saint Francis and is set in a beautiful marble frame.
During a visit to this beautiful city, or while planning a route around, we recommend a stop at the Caffè Poliziano, a historical place in Italy that, with its antique furnishings, brings us back to the liberty of the past.
Montepulciano is located in a strategic position, which makes it the ideal place to start discovering this beautiful corner of Tuscany. Pienza, the perfect city of Renaissance, the romantic village of Bagno Vignoni, the characteristic beauty of Montalcino, and other enchanting villages are very close and easy to reach. Visiting Montepulciano, you will be transferred into a jewel of Renaissance in Tuscany, and you will come out enriched, with the desire to deepen your knowledge on this magnificent historical period.
Do not forget to taste the famous wine Nobile di Montepulciano in one of the cellars- perhaps accompany it with a tasty platter of local cold cuts and cheese. The experience will be gratifying!!!
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