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Montepulciano

The city of Montepulciano as very particular configuration: it is constructed along a geological ridge running down from the highest point.


Historical signs
Montepulciano The city a very particular configuration: it is constructed along a geological ridge running down from the highest point. Today we find an extremely long main street (about 11 and 1/2 Km) leading from the Porta al Prato through a 60 drop to the Piazza Grande. The houses are organised around this main street ina series of perpendicular short, narrow lanes- often extremely steep. The most important buildings are practically all on the main street, presenting a long procession of facades, almost an "exhibition"of high level architectural design. There have been tho mai periods of architectural significance in Montepulciano, the XVI Century, and those years bridging the XVII and XVIII Centuries.
MontepulcianoDuring the XVI Century the urban development is pratically completed and it was only the nobility who carried out projects for new frontages to boost their personal prestige. The costruction outside the gates of the imposing "Temple of San Biagio, on a projects of Antonio da Sangallo il Vecchio create a "Style" taken up by most of the master builders, it inspires the palaces of the Avignonesi, Cocconi Cervini, Gagnoni-Grugni, Contucci and Tarugi, to mention only the main names to which can be attributed many houses that are considered "minor" in Montepulciano but might well be considered "major" in other places (one remembers the Palazzo Bellarmino, the palazzo which today houses the Scool of Mosaic in Talosa, for its beautiful courtyard). The other period saw the presence and influence of the celebrated architect Fra-Andrea Pozzo, the Jesuit who gave Montepulciano the impossing Church of Jesus with its unusual quasi circular plan, the dining salon of the Palazzo Contucci whith its perpective effects, and numerous interiors which he reorganised.
Santa Chiara outside the walls and, above all the church of Santa Maria are examples of sobre and graceful late baroque style. Another group of buildings exemplify a late 11 th Century tendency of particular relevance. The Cathedral and its interior, the monumentality of which is found- uniquely- in the play of line and form- by Ippolito Scalza from Orvieto (1532-1617) to whom the Loggie delle Erbe and the church of the Madonna delle Grazie are traditionally attributed.
MontepulcianoWe have deliberately left to last, two 15 th Century buildings, the Palazzo Comunale inspired by the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence and the church of San Augustino in which we find humanistic and late gothic elements- both work by Michelozzo Bortolomeo, and lastly the Temple of San Biagio, an imposing sanctuary on a centered Greek plan, it's facade flanked by tho bell-towers (one unfinisched) and a perfect dome, a direct assumption of Renaissance architectural theory and perhaps the major work of Antonio da Samgallo the Elder, and the ideal source of inspiration for the new church of St Peters in the vatican of Sangallo the Younger.

The surrounding territory of the Council of Montepulciano cannot match the architectural treasures of the capital, but the little town of Valiano, situated on a hilltop beyond the master canal of the Chiana, nevertheless has its particular fascination, a splendid panorama over Valdichiana to the west and the hills of the Cortonese to the east. The two hills of Totona which face Montepulciano, and the Cappuccini, a short distance to the south, and covered with woodland, offer walks and climbs in varied and attractive landscape.


Montepulciano: discover the surroundings

  • Chianciano Terme Chianciano Terme (6 km)
    There is the thermal Chianciano, with parks and avenues, hotels and shops, but it also exists the original core of the town, the so called paese.
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  • Torrita di Siena Torrita di Siena (8 km)
    The first historical records referring to Torrita di Siena date back to the 11th century when the name appears in an Amiata legal code of the year 1037.
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  • Pienza Pienza (9 km)
    Pienza, small jewel of the Renaissance in the heart in Tuscany, in the province in Siena, to the center of one of the most beautiful zones in Italy and richer than treasures of art.
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  • Sarteano Sarteano (14 km)
    Under the influence of Chiusi, the most powerful city of the Etruscan League, the area of Sarteano had been living a period of development since the remotest times.
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  • Trequanda Trequanda (14 km)
    The medieval village of Trequanda, crowned by the remnants of the ancient Cacciaconti castle, stands a hill 462 meters high sited between the Val di Chiana and the Val d' Asso.
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  • Bagno Vignoni Bagno Vignoni (16 km)
    Bagno Vignoni name derives from Vignoni, castle already known in the XI century, whose traces dominate the high ground above the suburb, and from the thermal waters used since the Roman epoch.
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  • San Quirico d'Orcia San Quirico d'Orcia (16 km)
    San Quirico is Etruscan in origin, and cinerary urns and other funeral objects and vessels found here are now kept in the Etruscan archeological museum in Siena.
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  • San Giovanni d'Asso San Giovanni d'Asso (17 km)
    San Giovanni d'Asso is located from the hill dominating the valley of the Asso torrent the Crete and offer a magic and atmospheres of a pure and perfumed land.
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  • Castiglione d'Orcia Castiglione d'Orcia (17 km)
    Sets on the summit of a back not too far from the Cassia, Castiglione of Orcia it is a small predominantly agricultural and handicraft center.
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  • The Sentiero della Bonifica The Sentiero della Bonifica (17 km)
    Sentiero della Bonifica cycle and pedestrian path which joins Arezzo to Chiusi is about 62 km along Valdichiana equipped for those who wish to travel slowly, either by bike or on foot.
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  • Foiano della Chiana Foiano della Chiana (17 km)
    Evidence of Etruscan settlements of the VI-IV centuries BC testify to the ancient origins of Foiano and the nearby town of Pozzo della Chiana.
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  • Cetona Cetona (18 km)
    The first mention of Cetona is found as a "Castle" between 1207 and 1241 in the estate of Count Ildebrandino, but subject to the sovreignty of the Commune of Orvieto.
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  • Lucignano Lucignano (20 km)
    Lucignano is one of the most interesting centres in Tuscany because of its original castle on an elliptical plan, closed in by a wall with towers.
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  • Asciano Asciano (24 km)
    The city of Asciano is on high ground in the upper Ombrone valley, on the old Via Lauretana.
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  • Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbey Monte Oliveto Maggiore abbey (24 km)
    Monte Oliveto Maggiore is a Congregation, found in a marvellous spot just south of Siena, in what is characteristic of this countryside, the crete senesi.
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  • Crete Senesi Crete Senesi (24 km)
    The territory of Crete Senesi contains all of those things which we have come to associate with Tuscany
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