Montalcino lies in the province of Siena, about 42 kilometres south of the city. It represents a outer layer of the Senese soil before one reaches the woods of the Seamma and the steep ascents of
Mount Amiata. Up until the Middle Ages, it played a key role in the political life of
From up in its 567 metres, the town overlooks all of the surrounding countryside. It is located upon a hill on which the powerful fourteenth-century fortress stands. In the maze of streets, between artisan workshops, small cafès, and stores selling local products and specialities, you can admire many monuments and medieval palaces like the
"Palazzo Comunale" of the XIII-XIV centuries, the bishop's palazzo, the
Church of Saint Augustine in Romanic-gothic style. Of special interest, just outside Montalcino, there is the
Abbey of Saint Antimo when an ancient crucifix which dates back to the middle of 1100.
From the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, Montalcino was at the centre of the territorial disputes between Siena and Florence.
Among the many reasons which made it an interesting land to conquest, it is important to mention its enological vocation. In fact, the local wines, both red and white, were already highly valued in the Middle Ages.
Montalcino is the home of the Brunello which has been defined as the best and the most famous Italian wine.
Besides wine, the local honey and cookies, called "ossi di
morto" ("bones of death""), are also famous.
In the area of Montalcino it is possible to find many hotels, agriturisms and farms where one can overnight and many restaurants where one can enjoy local dishes which date back to the Middle Ages. These are dishes, which, have evolved naturally, but in many variations pick up on the theme of the traditions of wine and food.
Here we find many farms which produce wines which are particularly well-known, in which we can organise visits of the wine cellars and wine tastings for you, often where the guide who gives you the tour is the proprietor himself.