Day 6: CORTONA / MONTEPULCIANO / PIENZA / MONTALCINO / SIENA – 110 km
Breakfast in hotel and departure toward Montepulciano. It is a medieval and Renaissance hill town of exceptional beauty. Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink.
Wine connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile among Italy’s best. The main street of Montepulciano stretches for 11.5 kilometers from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza Grande at the top of the hill.
The city is renowned for its walkable, car free nature. The main landmarks include the Communal Palace with its outstanding view of the Tuscan valley,the Palazzo Tarugi, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, and Duomo of Montepulciano, constructed between 1594 and 1680 and including paintings masterpieces from the Sienese School.
During this walk in Montepulciano, you can not miss a stop at Caffè Poliziano. It is officially recognized as one of the historic cafes throughout Italy, with many Italian literati (from Carducci to Pirandello) meeting here in the past. Stopping here means breathing the enchant of history. After the visit, we will then proceed to Montalcino but, during the trip, a stop in Pienza is a real must.
Rare example of Renaissance town building (it was completely redesigned by Pope Pius II in Renaissance times) Pienza is defined, from time to time, the “ideal city”, the “utopian city”. It represents one of the best planned Renaissance towns, where a model of ideal living and governing was realized thus working out the idea of a town able to satisfy the need for a pacific, civil and hardworking living. Its location in the middle of Val d’Orcia, a wonderful and untouched valley, enables the town to perfectly embody the basic interest which the humanistic architecture gave to the relationship man – nature. After this short visit in Pienza, you will finally reach one of the most famous “Wine City” in the world: Montalcino. Famous place for the production of the Brunello of Montalcino, it was an ancient Sienese stronghold (you can still admire its imposing fortress) and it still keeps the medieval atmosphere with its nice streets and typical shops, not only for wine but for handicrafts as well (ceramics as first).
For art lovers, the ideal itinerary starts from Piazza del Popolo and the Duomo. The main building on the piazza is the town hall, once the Palazzo dei Priori (built late 13th, early 14th century) but now the Palazzo Comunale. A very high medieval tower is incorporated into the palazzo. After this interesting visit, lets drive again to Siena.
Arrival in hotel and accommodation.