Borghi magazine ~ the discovery of the fantastic world of italian medieval villages

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Views of Montalcino

toscana promozione turistica

toscana promozione turistica

A well known place for the production of Brunello wine, Montalcino is situated in the north-west of Monte Amiata, at the end of the Val d'Orcia. The village rises at an altitude of 564 m a.s.l. but in some points of the region it exceed the 600 m a.s.l. like Poggio Osticcio (624 m a.s.l.), the pass of Lume Spento (621 m a.s.l.) and the Poggio Civitella (661 m a.s.l.) where there is an ancient Etruscan fortress. Montalcino is mentioned for the first time in a document of 29th December 814, when the Emperor Ludovico il Pio granted the territory on Monte Lucini to the abbot of the nearby Abbey of Sant'Antimo. On the origin of the name of Montalcino, some believe it derives from Mons Lucinus quoted in this document of the 814, named in honor of the goddess Lucina or reference to the latin word lucus, that means "sacred wood", or more generally "small forest". Others, instead, think that the toponym derives from Mons Ilcinus, from Latin mons (mount) and ilex (evergreen oak), "monte dei lecci", a very widespread plant in the area which is also represented in the city coat of arms. The first inhabited nucleus should date back to the X century. In this period the population experienced a notable growth in population when the inhabitants of Roselle moved into the city. The original inhabited nucleus was extended over the centuries until, in the XIV century, it reached the current size. Thanks to the location of the city, dominating on top of a hill, from its avenues the view can sweep over the valleys of Ombrone and Asso. In medieval times the main economic activity was the tannery and Montalcino had numerous factories for the working of leather, factories which were famous for the quality of their products. But its luck was to be in the centre of one of the most important areas of the cultivation of grapes. The territory, in fact, is celebrated for the presence of vineyards of Sangiovese from which they obtain the famous Brunello di Montalcino and that are also used for the production of two other DOC wines: Rosso di Montalcino and Sant'Antimo. The main square of Montalcino is Piazza del Popolo. The main building of the square is the Palazzo Comunale, also known as Palazzo dei Priori (between the end of the thirteenth century and the beginning of the XIV). The palace is adorned with the heraldic coat of arms of the numerous podestà who ruled the city over the centuries. A high medieval tower is incorporated in the palace. Near the Palazzo Comunale, there is a Renaissance structure with six round arches, called La Loggia. The city walls were built in the XIII century. The fortress was built in the highest point of the city in 1361, has a pentagonal structure and was designed by Sienese architects Mino Foresi and Domenico di Feo. The fortress incorporates some of the pre-existing structures including the Mastio di Santo Martini, the tower of San Giovanni and the ancient Basilica, which now serves as the chapel of the castle. In the district Poggio alle Mura, were discovered the fossil remains of a whale that lived in the area more than four million years ago in the Pliocene period when the warm waters of the Tyrrhenian sea covered the area occupied by the existing vineyards. Among the local traditions one to remember is the Thrush Festival that is held on the last Sunday of October and the Tourney for the opening of the hunting season every month of August.

The Municipality of Montalcino
Province of Siena
Tuscany Region

inhabitants: 5.946
Altitude center: 567 m a.s.l.

The Municipality is part of:
Bandiera Arancione
Città del bio
Città del miele
Città del tartufo
Città del vino

Protected natural areas:
Val d'Orcia (UNESCO site)

On the external back of the Val d'Orcia there is Montalcino, the homeland of the Brunello, one of the most famous and appreciated Italian wines in the world, as well as the first to obtain in 1980 the Docg certification. Every thing in this hamlet tastes like its grapes, each brick has the colors of its secular tradition. Even the ancient Rocca, built by Sienese people in 1361, today houses in its interior a winery dedicated to the world of Brunello. And with a glass of this nectar of the gods in one hand, you can also be nourished by the music and the theatre, thanks to the shows hosted in the courtyard. Montalcino is in fact rich of art, as well as one the most ancient centres of ceramic production in the whole of Tuscany. The Convent of Sant'Agostino is the place for the city museums. In a really green valley at a certain distance from the village we find the abbey of Sant'Antimo. You might say it looks like a French church, so high, all vertical, in travertine and alabaster. They began to build it in the second half of the XII century. Griffins, eagles, fantastic animals and geometric motifs write stories on the portals of the building and on the capitals. Despite being throughout the year a locality rich in events, folklore and traditions, by far the most outstanding is the Tourney for the opening of the hunting season in mid-August, which is actually an exciting shooting match in which the targets are faithful replicas. The prize is a silver arrow which evokes the ancient tradition of the wild game homage to the castellan.

Discover the other villages on the guide Tuscany - Villages to love

Montalcino: the hills of the Brunello wine

The enchanting hills overlooking Mount Amiata, the history of one of the most beautiful villages of Tuscany and the extraordinary Brunello, the excellence of Italian wines.

Next or present Events

  • Maria Santissima del Soccorso
    Patronal parties

    Add to calendar 2018-05-08 2018-05-08 Europe/Rome Maria Santissima del Soccorso Montalcino

  • Heroic Montalcino Festival

    Add to calendar 2018-05-27 2018-05-27 Europe/Rome Heroic Montalcino Festival The Festival will be inspired by the world of cycling of the past, you will breathe a magic air made of vintage atmospheres, vintage bikes, beards and moustaches, old and new jerseys, all accompanied by good food and excellent wine. Montalcino

    The Festival will be inspired by the world of cycling of the past, you will breathe a magic air made of vintage atmospheres, vintage bikes, beards and moustaches, old and new jerseys, all accompanied by good food and excellent wine.

    | Know more

Past Events

  • Itinerant dinner in the neighborhoods
    Itinerant dinner in the neighborhoods

  • Sagra del Tordo
    From 27-10-2017
    To 29-10-2017
    Sagra del Tordo

    An event that finds its consideration, albeit in a small version, in the opening of the hunts that takes place on the second Sunday of August.

  • White truffle of the Crete Senesi
    From 11-11-2017
    To 19-11-2017

    The market exhibition of the white truffle of the Crete Senesi offers many possibilities to know the territory and its typical products.
    Will take place in the two central week end of the month.

  • St. Patrick's Day in the Pianello

  • Masterchef Junior in labor

  • Hot pancakes in People's Square
    From 18-03-2018
    To 19-03-2018

  • Andrea Amati

Where to sleep
Where to eat

Ristorante Daniela

Piazza Giacomo Matteotti, 7, San Casciano dei Bagni (SI)
37.65 Kilometers from Montalcino

Where to shop

Azienda Agricola Teruzzi & Puthod

Località Casale, 19, San Gimignano (SI)
59.84 Kilometers from Montalcino


Panizzi Winery

loc. Santa Margherita, 34 , San Gimignano (SI)
59.35 Kilometers from Montalcino

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