Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 26, 2021

A visit to Montepulciano

The Tuscan hilltop town of Montepulciano is perhaps best known for its fine red wine, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. It is also a beautiful town full of happy delights for the lucky person who finds their way here.

I have been to Montepulciano a couple of times. Here is a previous post…Montepulciano-A Tuscan Gem

It is difficult to believe it is 11 years since my last visit, I should go more often. This lovely town is the highest in the region, sitting 605 metres above sea level. It climbs steeply above the plain below. I know, I walked slowly up from the free car park below the town on a hot day.

After cooling off at my hotel, La Dimora Nel Corso, I set of to rediscover Montepulciano. The hotel is in Via di Gracciano nel Corso, a continuation of Via di Voltaia nel Corso and Via dell’Opio nel Corso. These streets are the main shopping streets of the town. Here you will find an excellent selection of stylish shops, cafes and restaurants and tasting rooms for wine and local produce. There are lots of others scattered around the town too, so do venture further.

I thought the flowers in front of this shop, where I bought some local olive oil and almond biscuits, were plastic, they looked so perfect. They were real begonias.

The shop below is the oldest in Montepulciano, it began in 1848.

Last time we were here there was a row of yellow shoes in front.

After turning left at Piazzetta del Teatro I walked up another steep street and came to Piazza Grande, the main square of the town.

Here you will find the Cattedrale, Santa Maria Assunta, consecrated in 1712.

The Palazzo Comunale completed in 1440.

The lion on the front is a little worn.

The Palazzo dei Nobili.

Pozza dei Grifi e dei Lioni surely features in every photo of Montepulciano. The well was built in 1520 when Montepulciano was under Florentine rule. It has 2 Doric columns holding up a travertine table with 2 lions holding the Medici crest between them and 2 griffins on either side. The well was restored in 1702.

A slow walk around the back streets of Montepulciano revealed some wonderful buildings, gardens and sneak peeks at the countryside below between the buildings.

I wandered into this delightful courtyard. It it the entrance to a B&B, Meuble il Riccio.

This wonderful building has the most amazing weathered carved stone blocks on its facade.

Pulcinella stands on top of a clock tower. Pulcinella is a 17th century puppet from Naples. It was probably placed there at the time of a restoration in 1680

I had some delicious things to eat in Montepulciano. The hotel did not have a breakfast room so it arranges for guests to have breakfast at the stylish Poliziano cafe.

The cafe has a tiny balcony with views over the Tuscan landscape below.

I also had lunch in the restaurant on the floor below. It has a stunning view from a covered outdoor area.

Here is my stuffed guinea fowl with Montepulciano prunes and the signature Poliziano dessert, both delicious.

On another evening I enjoyed panzanella and pici, the local pasta, with duck, at Ristorante Magrola in Piazza Erbe.

I walked around the edge of the town to take in the magnificent views from my lofty position.

Aperitivo is my favourite time of the day and where better to enjoy a spritz than Piazza Grande.

As you can see there were few people around. It was great  for the children playing football in the piazza. This was the case for the whole time I was in Montepulciano.

Normally at this time of the year the streets and squares would be bustling with people. While it was pleasant to wander without crowds I found it sad. I feel for the people trying to keep their businesses alive. Travel in Europe is still hampered by this wretched virus. Restrictions in many countries make travel difficult.

Tuscany will be a white zone from Monday which means everything will be open with no curfews. Masks are no longer needed outdoors, which is great in the hot weather. This is excellent for those of us already here in Tuscany, but the season will be hard for those businesses depending on international tourists.

A last look at San Bagio church on the way to the car park.

I won’t leave it 11 years until the next visit to Montepulciano.

La Dimora nel Corso…


  1. Wish I am in Italy now 🙂

    • I can’t go back to Australia right now, but I am happy to be in Italy.

  2. I noticed the lack of people in many of your photos as you commented. So sad for everyone. I walked through Surfers about a week ago and many shops are now deserted. Take care and stay safe. xx

    • I have had my first vaccine and will have the second one soon. My ankle is slowly improving and I am enjoying my freedom, but I am being careful. I truly hope things will be better for everyone soon.

  3. Can’t tell you how much I love this post. Montepulciano is a Beautiful town!
    We were there in 2006 the night Italy won the World Cup. It was incredible to be part if the celebration. The wine is not bad either .
    Glad to hear you have recovered, able to travel & do so much walking !!!

    • I am delighted that I am mobile again. I am very slow and still not much good up and down hill, but I love being able to travel a bit. Montepulciano is a beautiful town. I hope the businesses have a good summer.

  4. Such a beautiful town . Your photos took me back 25 years !!! Moltepulciano is now back on the top of my list for when we can visit again . That last view of San Bagio church is breathtaking . Thanks for these moments Deb

    • I have been to Pienza, Montalcino and Siena several times in the last few years, but not Montepulciano. I am pleased I went back. It is a beautiful place.

  5. Hi Debra. We stayed in this lively place 2 years ago for a week. We had drinks one evening on that little balcony overlooking the countryside. Thank you for remind me of a lovely time as we in Sydney go into another lockdown for 2 weeks. Such nice me.iries. maree

    • That balcony is the best spot at any time of the day. It was the one place in town that had a few people.
      I feel for you being in lockdown! I was alone at Casa Debbio for 3 months last year and this year 2 months in a wheel chair and walking frame. I don’t want to go through that again.

  6. A lovely trip. I am glad to see that you are enjoying yourself and that your leg is improving

    • My walking is getting better and I love being able to get out and about.

  7. Oh, my favourite village. Never go there without a visit to Caffe Poliziano and try to grab that outdoor tiny balcony. Opened 1868, it’s a time capsule. Wish I was there.

    • Poliziano is wonderful. I went 3 times while it was there. Montepulciano is lovely and it is only 2.5 hours from where I live.

  8. I’m glad to see you are out and about, and happy to hear you are taking things slowly. Montepulciano is a lovely place. I enjoyed your photos.

    • I am delighted to be able to walk and drive. My trip to Montepulciano was lovely…such a beautiful place.

  9. Oh!!! Everything. The beautiful old buildings, the landscape, the little balcony – the food – the beautiful cafe. It all seems so romantic. But I can also see how empty it is which must weigh so heavily on the minds of those people who rely on the tourist traffic. But good news that you are entering a ‘white zone – fingers crossed.

    • I hope things improve for Italy soon. It has been a though time for many people. Italians are resilient and strong and they need to be.

  10. It looks beautiful Debra! What I would give to be there now. I hope as vaccine rates rise then the situation improves (here too).

    • Montepulciano is stunning. Being stuck in Italy is not such a bad thing.

  11. Deb so enjoyed your Post & photos of beautiful Montepulciano. No wonder it is a favourite Tuscan town to visit.
    Loved all photos & so envious.seeing all the beautiful old buildings, outlook,flowers make us want to return.
    What a great spot you had to enjoy breakfast/lunch.
    San Bagio church is a wonderful sight amongst all the green.
    Look forward to another visit by you. Take care & enjoy.

    • It is great to be able to travel a bit after being stuck at home for a couple of months. My ankle is slowly improving so all is good here.

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