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Montepulciano: the Noble Art of Wine Drinking

Are you a fan of fine wine and the Renaissance? We’ve got just the place for you! Join us in discovering what to do in Montepulciano, the land of Noble wine.

Montepulciano, located in the province of Siena, between Valdichiana and Val d’Orcia, is an Italian commune ideal for an afternoon of tastings immersed in the atmosphere of an ancient medieval village. Inhabited since Etruscan times, Montepulciano gained historical significance during the medieval period as the focal point of expansionist ambitions between Florence and Siena. Its strategic location facilitated lucrative trade, leading to the rise of a prosperous manufacturing and agricultural bourgeoisie that still forms the backbone of the local economy.

Let’s begin our tour of what to do in Montepulciano.

What to Do in Montepulciano: The Underground Montepulciano Tour 

Starting from the bottom, where you need to park your car before entering the historic center, the upper part is accessible only on foot or, if you prefer, on your princely steed.

Passing through the main gate, the first “attraction” to experience is the tour of Underground Montepulciano, generously offered by Azienda Agricola Ercolani.

Explore the aging cellar of Vino Nobile and journey back in time to the ancient Middle Ages. Lose yourself in secret passages, admire ancient Etruscan tombs, descend stone stairs, and try your luck at the wishing well. These are just a few enticing activities offered in this 20-minute mini-tour.

After the tour, your first noble drink awaits in Montepulciano. The winery offers various tastings of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano accompanied by homemade crostini and ragù. The combination of wine and ragù creates an explosion of local flavors to savor.

To add a bit more flavor, I recommend trying the honey grappa, surprisingly delightful for those not typically fans of grappa.

With the indulgent first pit stop complete, let’s continue exploring Montepulciano.

What to Do in Montepulciano: A Stroll in the Historic Center

Your next stop is undoubtedly Piazza Grande, the epitome of Florentine Renaissance, listed among Italy’s most beautiful squares. But as they say, it’s not just about the destination, but the journey (forgive the cliché; it fits well here).

Before reaching the square, let yourself be enchanted by the slightly uphill path lined with noble palaces—a manageable ascent. The tunnels, scenic views, artisan shops (such as shoemakers), and the store selling Pinocchio postcards (priced at 1.50) may tempt you, in a good way, to pause and fill your Instagram profile or your stomach with impressions.

What to do in Montepulciano- Scape- Shops- Succulents
Shoes with seedlings (credit to Martina Chighine)

If, as a good knight, you manage to complete your mission and reach Piazza Grande, the reward will be equally grand. The square resembles a small Florence, featuring the Palazzo Comunale, the beautiful and imposing cathedral, the well of lions and griffins, and the 14th-century Palazzo del Capitano.

What to do in Montepulciano-Historic Center- Pozzo dei Leoni e dei Grifi-Palace Comunale- Cathedral--
Glimpse of Piazza Grande

If you decide to visit Montepulciano during the Christmas season, let the aromas and sinful delights from the stalls scattered around the square captivate you.

Sweet and savory tastings will continue to delight your palate—I did it and was ecstatic.

But we are here for a “noble” drink, right? Continue to discover the secrets of the wine shop I tested for you.

A Tasting at Vini di Toscana Wine Shop

You cannot leave Montepulciano without a proper tasting. I certainly didn’t want to miss out, so inspired by the atmosphere, I decided to stop at Vini di Toscana wine shop.

The wine shop is elegant yet familiar, thanks to Emilio, a former jurist who pursued his dream of turning his passion for wine into a true profession.

Sipping Chiacchera and Icario, accompanied by a fragrant board of cured meats and cheeses (total cost of 27 euros), set to the backdrop of Caribbean music, I discovered the origins of the place.

What to do in Montepulciano - Tuscan wine shop - Platter of cured meats and cheeses - glasses of wine
Wine at the wine shop (Credit to Martina Chighine)

So, at the end of this eno-cultural experience, I can also say I had a noble drink in Montepulciano.

Three Reasons to Visit Montepulciano

Did you enjoy my experience? Let me summarize the three main reasons to visit this village:

  1. The village exudes Renaissance charm, is easily visitable in a short time, and is very relaxing, being devoid of cars and honking horns.
  2. All shopkeepers are friendly and won’t let you miss out on complimentary tastings of typical local products and wines.
  3. The breathtaking panorama of the vineyards surrounding the village is worth savoring.

If you’ve also spent a day in Montepulciano, feel free to share your experience with us. Otherwise, we hope to have sparked your desire to visit.

And if you want to stay overnight, click here to discover the best accommodations at the best prices!

Article Name
What to do in Montepulciano
Explore the perfect blend of fine wine and Renaissance charm. Discover what to see in Montepulciano, the village of Noble wine.
Publisher Name
La Scimmia Viaggiatrice