Whether you are one to marvel at ancient architecture, delve into the city’s art history or simply want to sip wine and admire the sunset, Trip101 has got it all planned out for you. Read on to discover Montelpulciano in the best ways.
1. Piazza Vitturio Emanuele
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, otherwise known as Piazza Vittorio, is a piazza in Rome, located in the Esquilino rione. It is served by the Vittorio Emanuele Metro station. Surrounded by palazzi with large porticoes in the 19th-century style, the piazza was erected by Gaetano Koch shortly after the unification of Italy. Prided as the largest piazza in Rome, visitors can find a garden in the centre of the piazza containing the remains of a fountain built by Alexander Severus and the Porta Alchemica (Alchemist’s Portal or also called Magic Gate or Porta Magica), the entrance to Villa Palombara, former residence of the alchemist Marquis Palombara.
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele
Address: Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II, 1, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
2. Duomo Cathedral
Montepulciano’s 16th-century duomo is striking, largely because its unfinished facade gives the building an organic, heavily weathered look. Inside, don’t miss Taddeo di Bartolo’s ornate Assumption triptych (1401) behind the high altar. The Duomo of Montepulciano was designed by Ippolito Scalza and constructed between 1594 and 1680 on a pre-existing Medieval pieve. The façade is unfinished. The unfinished bell tower is still the Medieval one of the pre-existent Pieve.
The Cathedral is home to several impressive masterpieces: the Assumption of the Virgin triptych painted by Taddeo di Bartolo in 1401; Michelozzo’s Aragazzi funeral monument (1427-1437) situated close to the main door and at the altar, where tourists can stop, two statues and the frieze with little angels; the Madonna del Pilastro by Sano di Pietro constructed in the 15th-century and the polychrome terracotta altar by Andrea della Robbia (1521) behind a 14th-century baptismal font.
3. Palazzo Communale
Built in the 14th-century in Gothic style and remodeled in the 15th-century by Michelozzo, the Palazzo Communale still functions as Montepulciano’s town hall. Head up the 67 narrow stairs to the tower to enjoy extraordinary views – you’ll see as far as Pienza, Montalcino and even, on a clear day, Siena.
Website: Palazzo Communale (in Italian)
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4. E Lucevan Le Stelle
... e lucevan le stelle Vineria, Bistrot, Spazio ArtePosted by e lucevan le stelle on Tuesday, 26 March 2013
The decked terrace of this ultra-friendly osteria is the top spot in Montepulciano to watch the sun go down. Inside squishy sofas, modern art and jazz on the sound system give the place a chilled-out vibe. Its food (antipasto plates, piadine (flat-bread sandwiches), and pastas) isn’t a strength – stick to a glass or two of Nobile.
E Lucevan Le Stelle
Address: Piazza di S. Francesco, 3, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
Website: E Lucevan Le Stelle (in Italian)
5. Museo Civico
It was a curatorial dream come true: in 2011 a painting in the collection of this modest art gallery was attributed to Caravaggio. The work, Portrait of a Man, is thought to portray Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the artist’s patron. It’s now accompanied by a touch-screen interpretation that allows you to explore details of the painting, its restoration and diagnostic attribution. Other works here include two terracottas by Andrea Della Robbia and Domenico Beccafumi’s painting of the town’s patron saint, Agnese.
Address: Il Campo, 1, 53100 Siena SI, Italy
Website: Museo Civico (in Italian)
6. Santa Maria dei Servi
The Church of Santa Maria dei Servi was built on behalf of father Andrea Manfredi from Faenza and master Antonio di Vincenzo, who had already cooperated for the project of the Church of San Petronio. In front of the building there is a airy space surrounded by porticoes of tall marble columns. The construction of the portico began in 1393 and it was completed between the 16th and the 19th-century. The Church now stands out for its gothic style, particularly evident in the apse and in the three inside naves on which the whole structure stands.
There are several important works of art, first of all Madonna in trono by Cimabue (13th-century), the marble altarpiece by Michelangelo Montorsoli (1558-61), the 14th-century frescoes by Vitale from Bologna, a peculiar clay polyptych by Lippo from Dalmasio and precious paintings by G. M. Crespi, Albani, Calvart and other Bolognese masters of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Santa Maria dei Servi
Address: Via di Collazzi, 78, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
7. Chiesa di San Biagio
Designed by Antonio da Sangallo (Sangallo il Vecchio) and constructed in the late 16th-century, this splendid Renaissance church in the valley below the upper town has a distinctive central dome and pyramid-topped bell tower. The church is dedicated to San Biago (St Blaise), the Armenian-born martyred patron saint of wool combers.
The church’s handsome Renaissance façade, was constructed by Michelozzo di Bartolommeo, who collaborated with the pre-eminent Florentine architect Brunelleschi and was a follower of the sculptor Donatello. However, the church was founded several centuries earlier. It was first built in 1285 and is the oldest remaining church building in Montepulciano. Restorations in the late 1700s changed the interior substantially, removing the previous aisles. Look on the high altar for the wooden crucifix attributed to Donatello. In front of the church is a bell tower topped by a 16th-century Pulcinella that strikes a bell on the hour.
Address: Piazza di Sant’Agostino 80, Rome, Italy
The magnificent town of Montelpulciano
Located in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany, Montelpulciano is a hill town peppered with medieval and Renaissance-style architecture. Apart from its beautiful churches and picturesque backdrop, the town is known for its pork, cheese, pasta, lentils and honey. It is respected worldwide for its rich tasting wine, which connoisseurs consider among Italy’s best.
The next time you visit Italy, do include Montelpulciano in your itinerary!
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