There are many good reasons to visit Montepulciano, ancient Tuscan village between Val di Chiana and Val d'Orcia. But up to November 1, 2015 there is one more, the exhibition “From Macchia Decadentism, private paintings in the lands of Poliziano”. traveling exhibition, between Civic Museum Pinacoteca Crociani And the Fortezza, recently restored thanks to the work of the Consorzio del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Protection and the University of Atlanta, in the United States. I must admit I was several times, whether for business or pleasure, in this center of the province of Siena, overlooking the soft hills and the vineyards of the Val di Chiana: 14 000 inhabitants just, but every year Montepulciano hosts 230,000 tourists, for half foreigners. Here you can admire the medieval and Renaissance architectural treasures, Piazza Grande (with the Well of griffins and lions, that the Twilight movie fans remember well) the church of San Biagio, the Tower of Pulcinella, but you can also simply relax in the midst of unspoilt nature, or choose to follow the trend of food tourism, that in these places ranges from Pici cheese, from meats to beef Chianina, until the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, local pride and the engine of much of the local economy.
THE NOBLE WINE: Visitors to the center are in fact Poliziano especially wine tourists, who come to discover in their own territory the first Italian DOCG among the red wines (It dates back to 1980). The Consortium It is particularly active in initiatives and food and wine: the February preview, engaging the race at the stove between the districts of 'A table with the noble’ in August and dozens of events throughout the year. This red Sangiovese-based (here called 'blackthorn') It is grown on 2000 hectares, and every year is 7,3 million bottles produced, mainly intended for other countries. The canteen, who are 75, offer the possibility of guided tours, tastings and hospitality bad & breakfast, or farmhouse with pool up to the resort. If you want to immerse yourself in the spirit of the wine of Montepulciano, a few dozen meters from the Piazza Grande do not miss a visit to wineries Talosa, with galleries dating back to the 1500s excavated in an ancient rock from which emerge here and there of marine fossils; There are also the Contucci cellars, Gattavecchi and, outside the walls, Fattoria del Cerro, the Berne, Bindella, Godiolo and Palazzo Vecchio, a winery that is located in one of the hills on the border between the DOCG Nobile di Montepulciano and Cortona Doc led by young and passionate Maria Luisa Sbernadori.
THE EXHIBITION: As I said,, the cue for yet another visit to Montepulciano was the exhibition “From the bush to the decadence”: 120 works including paintings, drawings and watercolors executed between 1850 and 1920, representative of the pictorial movements developed in those years in Tuscany by the artists involved in the renewal of figurative language. I wanted to visit it to complete a process that began five years ago, when getting in Montepulciano was an exhibition 'I Macchiaioli'. This time all the works on display have been granted to individuals who have opened the doors of their collections. Among the museum (which also preserves valuable Etruscan artifacts, Romans and even a recently attributed to Caravaggio painting ) and the Fortress you can admire works that tell the lives of leaders and villages era with quick brushstrokes (precursors of the French Impressionist school): exhibited the works of Lorenzo Gelati, Edward Borrani, Telemaco Signorini, Giovanni Fattori, Silvestro Lega, Philadelphus Simi (author of the famous painting 'Sun in Seravezza'), Lionello Balestrieri.
In advise a visit to Montepulciano and generally to Val di Chiana, I also want to give you some 'straight’ of places to sleep, eat or shop, to make it easier to choose (the tourist offer is wide). Obviously these places I've been and where I often return, little guarantee of the fact that I liked, and much.
WHERE TO SLEEP: This time I slept in a bell'agriturismo outside Montepulciano: It's called The Molinaccio, and is a typical Tuscan farmhouse recently renovated, where only from 2013 it is produced Nobile, according to the principles of organic viticulture, and where you live surrounded only by the sounds of nature, Salcheto on the banks of the river and nice cats. Alessandro and his staff will guide you through the vineyards, offering you the possibility to taste the typical Tuscan cuisine in a rustic family atmosphere. Beautiful rooms, furnished with period furniture, The beautiful infinity pool overlooking the vineyards. As an alternative in the center of Montepulciano I suggest the’Albergo Duomo, which it is located a few meters from Piazza Grande in a small Renaissance building, or the Meublè Il Riccio, also in the center and in a beautiful historic building. If you prefer a modern hotel, just outside Montepulciano find the’Hotel San Biagio: modern rooms, restaurant and pool.
WHAT TO SEE AROUND: I was lucky because my visit coincided with the Feast of Agriculture Tre Berte, fraction of Montepulciano. I can not deny having taken advantage of the dinner on the 'Hague flavors’ and it has enjoyed excellent pici with meat sauce and garlic, leisure (father) baked, dwarf roast duck and baked beans. For the party it's too late, But I suggest you not to miss a truly splendid environment itinerary, the nature reserve of Montepulciano Lake, run by the "Association of Friends of Lake Montepulciano": area pic-nic, teaching environment, Guided tours on the lake in the electric boat powered by solar panels, birdwatching, pedestrian routes opened by the Chiusa dei Monaci, outside Arezzo, up to Chiusi, along the Canal of the Chiana, for a total distance of approximately 65 Km. From Montepulciano I suggest you also take a leap in Chianciano, both to his old village, both Term.
WHERE TO EAT: taverns, restaurants, farmhouses & Spirits. The Val di Chiana has plenty of places to enjoy traditional Tuscan cuisine. In my many visits I have tried several restaurants (you know you are a foodie), both traditional and with a slightly revised Tuscan cuisine and lightened. If you are in a Florentine steak lovers and dishes I recommend downtown The Other Corners or the’Osteria Acquacheta. For a slightly revised Tuscan cuisine, creative but always in the enhancement of local products, the choice could fall on The lodges of Vignola or Arches Restaurant managed by eclectic and enthralling Elda and Pier. For a coffee with cake, biscuits and chocolates all home made and do not miss the historic Liberty Caffè Poliziano (one of the historical places of Italy), with a panoramic view that stretches as far as Lake Trasimeno. Finally, I also suggest a nice restaurant, opened recently, I have tried in recent days: Montepulciano is out, the height of Valiano, in the countryside and is called Customs: the view is spectacular, a huge window over the hills and vineyards of Palazzo Vecchio, of which the Customs is the wine cellar with kitchen. The chef is very young and the dishes are traditional, but with a personal note.
WHAT TO BUY: We get to the fun part, at least for us women. Once we have visited Montepulciano, drank Vino Nobile, eaten Tuscan cuisine, done many walks and visited monuments, it's time to choose some smallness to take us home, as a souvenir of the trip. Almost all shops are in the center, on the course. And here I come with my favorite shops. Do you want to buy an item for you, a pair of shoes or a dress a bit’ particular, or something chic Home? Do not hesitate, the place is Morgana girl. If you prefer the Tuscan leather, and then shoes, bags, wallet or jackets, It is the right place Tuscan Cursed (There are some shops’ throughout Tuscany and beyond). Do not forget to buy soaps, essences for home, scents for you to The Bolgherello: soap cypress Bolgheri and the grape must are among my favorites, I always do escort. To buy some food and wine products, There wine advice (to buy directly from the winery or wine shop), meat and cheese. As regards cheese (and in particular the pecorino of Pienza), two are my reference addresses. The first: fresh pecorino, seasoned and mature seeds Tila (Also try the yogurt and cottage cheese) who has a shop in Montepulciano on the course and the cheese factory and a shop in the hills; the second address: the Fattoria Buca Nuova, always just outside Montepulciano, along the road to Pienza, where I usually am also raveggiolo, almost impossible to find a traditional product of the Crete Senesi, obtained from sheep's milk fresh from the cow, and rennet, from the soft texture like a pudding. Both dairies are open on Sundays. Finally, returning home, slightly elongated path and arrive in Foiano della Chiana, where, Also here on Sunday, find the’farm Fierli, Direct sale of meat Chianina and Cinta Senese. Sometimes you will also find the Muscovy duck and goose, and I never forget to take home some’ Tuscan meat. Notice?