Posted by: debrakolkka | November 1, 2011

A weekend in Montalcino

Some Australian friends who own a fabulous house in Montalcino suggested I visit for the weekend to see the Sagra del Tordo. The Festival of the Thrush has been celebrated on the last Sunday of October since 1958. It is a weekend of costumes, music, street parades, food, wine and a very important archery competition. I’ll tell you all about this in the next post, but first I want to share lovely Montalcino with you.

I got a bit lost on the way there. In my defence, it was very foggy and there was a big truck in front on me and I missed the turn. It wasn’t all bad as I travelled the last 18 kilometres along a dirt road lined with vineyards and gorgeous scenery, which looked wonderful in the mist.

the dirt road to Montalcino

Montalcino is a beautiful town that sits 564 metres above the valleys of Orcia, Arbia and Ombrone. It is a very elegant town full of beautiful shops, restaurants and enotecas selling the famous wine from the area. Don’t leave Montalcino without trying a Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino.

The views of the surrounding countryside are spectacular from Montalcino. I was up bright and early in the morning and did a circuit of the town.The mists from the day before were back, making for some beautiful views.

early morning from Montalcino

isolated by the mist

autumn in Montalcino

early birds

the view from my friends

Montalcino’s streets are very steep, which must help to keep the inhabitants fit. The narrow streets wind their way around the town and there are dozens of steps leading from one street to the next.

lots of steep steps

a long way down - and up

The spring weather has been very mild and gardens are still looking good.

capers, geraniums and persimmons still growing

amazing views


bees busy on the crocus flowers, grown for saffron

saffron threads growing

As with all of these wonderful ancient towns there are delights found at all levels. You have to remember to look up.

pigeons always find good spots

a pretty little shrine high up on a wall

the huge city crest on the fortezza

The 4 quarters of the town are decorated with the flags of their area.

the colours of Ruga quartiere

the colours of Borghetto

The church where the archers would be blessed had some extra decoration for the event.

extra angels

The picnic grounds are prepared for the celebrations. It will look a bit different the next day.

the calm before the storm

We attended the dinner for the quartiere Pianello. My friends’ house is in this area and it is very important to support your local team.

an invitation to dinner

There was a wonderful party atmosphere in the town for the whole weekend. Enotecas were offering tastings of delicious food and wine.

local delights

lots to try

I stayed at a beautiful Bed and Breakfast called Porta Castellana in Via S. Lucia 20. It is run by the delightful Annalisa. Give her a call on (39) 0577 839001 or look at the website –

Take a look at the place where I had breakfast.


This was my delicious breakfast.


We have been to Montalcino before. Click here to see the previous post.


  1. Love your photos!

    • Thank you. Take a look tomorrow and see the archery competition.

  2. Love those moody misty photos.
    Wonder what those persimmons taste like. Same as the ones we buy in Australia or not?
    Enjoying every post

    Di Cant

    • Annalisa from the B&B gave me some to bring home. They are not ripe yet, but I will let you know what they taste like when they are ready.

  3. Absolutely love your photos of the misty heights Deb.. x

    • Montalcino is gorgeous. The festival was amazing. I took so many photos it will take me forever to decide which ones to use.

  4. Beautiful photos! I love those flags. We have a much smaller “Sagra de la Balestra” (crossbow) in Bagni, but the archer’s one in Montalcino looks superb.

    • The festival was over 2 days. The costumes were amazing. I hope I do it justice.

  5. The Tuscan countryside looks so beautiful with the mist rolling in. The festa in Montalcino sounds fun. I do love a party!

    • You would have loved this party. The whole town was involved.

  6. Beautiful photographs you captured dear Debra, especially the foggy ones fascinated me. But sure, a visit to this lovely town seems would be amazing. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • Montalcino is one of the loveliest towns in Tuscany.

      • you are being my guide with all your posts. How much I love. Thanks again, I hope and wish one day I can travel to Italy again. Have a nice and enjoyable day, with my love, nia

      • There is always something wonderful to see and do in Italy.

  7. Looks lovely!!!! Great pictures!

    • It is only a 3 hour drive from Bagni di Lucca – if you don’t get lost.

  8. How gorgeous. I’m consistentlly blown away by the beautiful places you share. Thanks, Deb.

    • Montalcino is beautiful and going on the weekend of the festival was a bonus.

  9. I like thiiis! The foggy scenery is amazing! I want to be there to eat breakfast. 😀

    • It was a beautiful place to have breakfast.

  10. What a breathtakingly beautiful place!! Thank you for such lovely pictures.. really makes me want to experience it. Coincidentally, my new favorite wine is one from Montalcino!

    • Wise choice, the wines from this area are excellent.

  11. Italy always has something to share, even in the tiniest most tucked away places. The mystery of the countryside in the mist is fabulous. Great photos. GG

    • There is too much to see in Italy in one lifetime, and of course you have to keep going back to the places you really love.

  12. What a stunning place!
    Now where’s my passport again…

  13. What can I say you keep wetting my appetite, la bella italia !!
    Thank you so much Debra x

  14. […] here for more on Montalcino and here annd here for the wonderful archery competition held as part of the […]

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: