Updated: Mar 20
We know planning for a trip can be a bit hectic, you want to make sure you see everything within the short period of time you may have. Especially if you are planning your trip to Tuscany, the history is never ending and embedded within the rustic villages and landscape here. So for this, we have decided to help you out! With so much to see and do we’ve narrowed down a list of places to drink, eat, and explore in Montepulciano.
Once you wake up and after you take in the view of the country side from your stays window, Take yourself back to the elegant past of Italy at Caffe Poliziano for breakfast. You will smell the fresh cookies and cakes from down the road as you approach this iconic establishment. Caffe Polizianos history dates back to 1868. It is a spacious and elegant cafe that has easily lured in tourist not only with its Art Nouveau style, but with this breath taking balcony that privately has just a seat for two. If you are lucky enough to snag the balcony seats you will see that it offers the view of Montepulciano as well as the rolling hills beneath the town. Enjoy your morning cafe or tea with a sweet pastry prepared fresh daily.
Now that breakfast is done, its time to do what we really came here for, wine tasting! Ideally it is always a good idea to start your tastings early so that you can get to 2/3 vineyards a day if you’d like. This is the terroir where wine literally flourishes and there is no shortages of vineyards to visit with a vast history and incredible panoramic views. There are even a few cantinas underground within the town if you prefer to not leave the center such as, Cantina Contucci, Talosa, and De’ Ricci. However if you are looking to immerse yourself within green vines, right under the hill of Montepulciano you can find Montemercurio, a family establish winery which begin cultivating wine in the early 60’s. This winery is close enough to the town to get to but tucked away enough in the heels to give you a great peace and relaxation during your tasting. Another family owned winery close near town is Cantina Dei, a now, female run winery. Here, you will not only get a scenic view of nature but also an artistic experience when visiting the cellar. Everything about the cellar was constructed with a purpose, to get into the building you have walk down a circular ramp which from a birds eye view resembles a fossil shell. Within the vineyard it is possible to come across real fossil shells since the valley was once covered with water. You can read more about the structure here! Lastly, a vineyard worth visiting for their respect regarding the environment is Salcheto. Salcheto is an organic and biodynamic Vino Nobile producer. They make them selves stand out with their innovative zero-emissions wine making process. Creating sustainability is at the core of their belief when it comes to the wine making process. During your tour you will see how they care for the wines, the environment, and also reuse most of their materials.
Once you have wrapped up your tastings and explored the world of Sangiovese, you are probably ready for some home made pasta and crostini. For lunch time, we recommend our families restaurant Osteria Del Borgo, an extremely local spot with pasta made fresh daily. It also doesn’t hurt that the view on the terrace is one of the best secret gems in the town, here you will find tourists enjoying the scenery and typical tuscan dishes. If you are looking for something to fill you but also keep you on the go, La Schiaccia dell’ Opio is your stop. This quaint shop has a 5 star rating on Trip Advisor for a reason. Between the fresh Schiaccia bread, local fresh cuts, and cheeses, you will not be disappointed with the sandwiches here.
If you by chance have rented a car and would like to take a drive through the hills, you might stumble upon a wooden sign marked “Puscina flowers” make sure to turn down this white road as it will take you to Tuscanys first flower farm. Puscina was started by two innovative sisters who transformed their family farm into a space where they specialise in cultivating seasonal flowers. They offer workshops to those who may want to be trained on cultivating and harvesting specific flowers and how to up keep them. If you are a nature lover we would suggest to not miss this stop.
While you're walking tour around the town, you’ll want to stumble upon Piazza Grande, here you will be able to take a pause as it is one of the few points in the town that is actually flat and is situated at the highest point of the city. You will get to discover the large clock tower which was designed by Michelozzo in the 15th century, resembles Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, as Montepulciano and Florence have always had a close relationship since the Medici era. On a clear day take a walk up the tower as you will be greeted with a breath taking view of Val d’orcin. Although this next spot is down hill, it is 100% worth the trek, Tempo di San Biagio should not be missed on your sight seeing tour. This Italian Renaissance architecture is truly a master piece. Built between 1518 and 1548 Antonio da Sangallo the Elder designed the church based on the model of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Carceri which his brother had designed years earlier. These days you can find tourists and locals enjoying a picnic on the wide lawn overlooking a relaxing view of the valley.
For dinner and traditional dishes with a modern take we recommend, Il Teatro Cucina Toscana, L’Altro Cantuccio, Osteria del Borgo for dinner at sunset. We recommend making reservations at least a day or two prior to your visit to ensure you will get to try your first choice at your desired time.
Finally, just as your night begins to wind down and before you begin to walk back to your apartment or hotel, be sure to stop by Opificio 16 for a night cap. Here, you will find locals sharing refreshing cocktails and light cheese boards. Laughing and exchanging stories, it is here you will see where life slows down, moments are cherished and laughter becomes contagious.
All of our members enjoy free wine tastings on their next trip in Montepulciano and Montalcino, join today!