Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo

Albarese

Acquapendente


anghiari

Archipelago Toscano


Arcidosso


Arezzo


Asciano


Badia di Coltibuono


Bagni San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa

Beaches

Bolsena Lake


Bomarzo

Brunello di Montalcino

Buenconvento

Campagnatico


Capalbio


Castel del Piano


Castelfiorentino

Castell'Azzara

Castellina in Chianti


Castelmuzio


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Castiglione della Pescaia


Castiglione d'Orcia


Castiglion Fiorentino


Celleno


Certaldo


Chinaciano Terme


Chianti


Chiusi


Cinigiano


Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio


Colle Val d'Elsa


Cortona


Crete Senesi


Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba

Firenze


Follonica


Gaiole in Chianti


Gavorrano

Gerfalco


Greve in Chianti


Grosseto


Lago Trasimeno


La Foce


Manciano


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Massa Marittima


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Monte Amiata


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montecalvello

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Orbetello


Orvieto


Paganico


Parco Naturale della Maremma


Perugia


Piancastagnaio


Pienza


Pisa


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Prato

Radda in Chianti


Roccalbegna


Roccastrada


San Bruzio


San Casciano dei Bagni


San Galgano


San Gimignano


San Giovanni d'Asso


San Quirico d'Orcia


Sansepolcro


Santa Fiora


Sant'Antimo


Sarteano


Saturnia


Scansano


Scarlino


Seggiano


Siena


Sinalunga


Sorano


Sovana


Sovicille

Talamone

Tarquinia


Tavernelle Val di Pesa


Torrita di Siena


Trequanda


Tuscania


Umbria


Val d'Elsa


Val di Merse


Val d'Orcia


Valle d'Ombrone


Vetulonia


Viterbo

Volterra




 
Walking in Tuscany
             
 
Montalcino
N L        I T
Montalcino


album Surroundings
       
   

Montalcino


   
   

The quiet Tuscan village of Montalcino has undergone few changes since medieval times, when it was a stronghold pertaining to the nearby city of Siena. Montalcino was once a strategic point along the road to Rome and offers a panoramic view of the beautiful Asso, Orcia and Ombrone valleys. The town’s fame derives from its production of one of Italy’s finest red wines known as Brunello di Montalcino.
The history of Montalcino dates back to the Etruscan and Roman periods, and its name was formed from the Latin ‘mons ilcinus’ (holm-oak mountain). Though independent for a time in the 12th century, the town later became subject to Sienese rule. During the 14th century, the city’s fortress was built to better defend the southernmost border of the Sienese Republic. However, four years after Florence defeated Siena (in 1555), Montalcino landed within the jurisdiction of the Granducato di Toscana of Cosimo dei Medici.

Brunello di Montalcino, alongside Chianti, is arguably the most prestigious of all Italian wines. Brunello di Montalcino made its appearance in the middle of the 19 C, prepared by Clement Santi from a selection of Sangiovese Grosso grapes, the larger-berried clone of the Sangiovese variety. in 1980 Brunello became the first wine in Italy to obtain Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.
The wine is made exclusively from Sangiovese grapes grown in Montalcino. Brunello translates roughly as 'little dark one', and is the local vernacular name for Sangiovese Grosso, the large-berried form of Sangiovese which grows around Montalcino.
The first recordings of this wine date back to the early 14th century, and the first modern version came about during the Risorgimento (unification of Italy) in the 1870s. Its evolution into the wine we now know is due in no small part to the efforts of Ferruccio Biondi-Santi, a soldier of the Garibaldi campaigns. He returned home to manage his grandfather Clemente Santi's estate, Fattoria del Greppo, where he developed some novel winemaking techniques.

Montalcino is also famous for the magnificent views across the Orcia and Arbia valley’s, with the best vantage point being the 14th century Fortezza. The Fortress at Montalcino was first built in 1361 and is in the shape of a pentagon (five sides). The southern walls, the Keep of Santo Martini, the San Giovanni tower and the ancient basilica or castle chapel are part of the original build of the Fortress. The Fortress was the seat of the Abbot of the nearby Abbey of Sant’Antimo.
The Walls had been started in the 13th Century before the plans for the fortress were completed.



The picturesque fourteenth-century Fortress of Montalcino


 

Down the narrow, short street (Via Ricasoli) that extends from the main gate of the fortress is the Chiesa di Sant'Agostino with its simple Romanesque façade, also built in the 13th century.
The building adjacent to the church is a one-time convent, but it is now the home of the Musei Riuniti which is both a civic and diocesan museum. The museums hold various works, including a gorgeous wooden crucifix by an unknown artist of the Sienese school, two beautiful 15th century wooden sculptures, including one of an incredibly moving Madonna by an anonymous artist which has become the symbol of Montalcino on the various posters and pubblicity, and several other sculptures in terracotta which appear to be of the Della Robbia school. The collection also includes a St Peter and St Paul by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and a Virgin and Child by Simone Martini. There are also more modern works from the beginning of the 20th century that offset and reflect the older works of art in the artful way they are presented by the curator.
The Duomo (cathedral), dedicated to San Salvatore, was originally built in the 14th Century, but it now has a neo-classical appearance thanks to extensive renovation work that was done in the early 19th century under the direction of Sienese architect Agostino Fantasici. The Piazza della Principessa Margherita, is down the hill from the fortress and Duomo on the via Matteotti. The principal building on the piazza is the town hall, once the Palazzo dei Priori (built late 13th, early 14th century) which was for many years the Palazzo Comunale. The palace is adorned with the coats of arms of the Podesta who once ruled the city. A very high medieval tower is incorporated into the palazzo. Close by is a Renaissance structure with six round arches, called La Loggia, which was started at the very end of the 14th century and finished in the early 15th, but which has undergone much restoration work over the subsequent centuries.
Montalcino is divided, like most medieval Tuscan cities, into quarters called contrade, Borghetto, Travaglio, Pianello and Ruga, each with their own colours, songs and separate drum rhythms to distinguish them. Twice a year they meet together in a breath taking archery contest under the walls of the Fortezza, conducted in Medieval dress, with lords and ladies of each contrada who accompany the proceedings.
The thirteenth-century church of San Francesco in the Castlevecchio contrada has undergone several renovations. Some of the interior frescoes were done by Vincenzo Tamagni in the early sixteenth century.
There are many other medieval buildings in Montalcino that make up its centro storico (historical center). As with many other similar cities, money from tourism is aiding the cause of restoration and preservation.
In 2010, the Festa Europea Della Musica had its first edition in Montalcino, to underscore and promote the beauty and culture of the town, and develop the artistic presence in the territorio as an "abbinamento" to the immense quality of its wines and way of life. Associated with the Fête de la Musique, created by Jack Lang in Paris in 1981 to celebrate music and musicians, the Festa was incorporated into the Italian Minister of Culture's agenda in 1994, and has since spread across Italy as well as the world, encouraging the cooperation and musical exchanges between the participating cities. Celebrated on the 21st of June, the entire town and its "frazioni" become one varicoloured musical tapestry that offsets beautifully the jewel of the territory itself.


Events in Tuscany | Sagra del Tordo and the Torneo di Apertura in Montalcino


 
Webcam dall'azienda Agricola Camigliano 

 


Montalcino, Via Ricasoli

 

Montalcino, Piazza del Popolo

Montalcino
Montalcino


History

The hill upon which Montalcino sits has been settled probably since Etruscan times. Its first mention in historical documents in 814 AD suggests there was a church here in the 9th century, most likely built by monks who were associated with the nearby Abbey of Sant'Antimo. The population grew suddenly in the middle of the tenth century when people fleeing the nearby town of Roselle took up residence in the town.
The town takes its name from a variety of oak tree that once covered the terrain. The very high site of the town offers stunning views over the Asso, Ombrone and Arbia valleys of Tuscany, dotted with silvery olive orchards, vineyards, fields and villages. The lower slopes of the Montalcino hill itself are dominated by highly productive vines and olive orchards.
During medieval times the city was known for its tanneries and for the shoes and other leather goods that were made from the high quality leathers that were produced there. As time went by, many medieval hill towns, including Montalcino, went into serious economic decline.
Like many of the medieval towns of Tuscany, Montalcino experienced long periods of peace and often enjoyed a measure of prosperity. This peace and prosperity was, however, interrupted by a number of extremely violent episodes.
During the late Middle Ages it was an independent commune with considerable importance owing to its location on the old Via Francigena, the main road between France and Rome, but increasingly Montalcino came under the sway of the larger and more aggressive city of Siena.

As a satellite of Siena since the Battle of Montaperti in 1260, Montalcino was deeply involved and affected by the conflicts in which Siena became embroiled, particularly in those with the city of Florence in the 14th and 15th centuries, and like many other cities in central and northern Italy, the town was also caught up in the internecine wars between the Ghibellines (supporters of the Holy Roman Empire) and the Guelphs (supporters of the Papacy). Factions from each side controlled the town at various times in the late medieval period.
Once Siena had been conquered by Florence under the rule of the Medici family in 1555, Montalcino held out for almost four years, but ultimately fell to the Florentines, under whose control it remained until the Grand Duchy of Tuscany was amalgamated into a united Italy in 1861.


 

Montalcino, surroundings


Surroundings
Castiglione del Bosco, known in the Middle Age as Castiglione on the Ombrone, was a small important fortress due to its strategic position between the towns Montalcino and Buonconvento. Today the ruins of the castle rises in the garden of a private villa, built enclosing the north-east angle of the external castle walls. In the chiesa di San Michele fresco by Pietro Lorenzetti (1280/1348) l’Annunciazione dei Santi. Pietro Lorenzetti paints the fresco Annunciazione dei Santi in 1345. It was rediscovered in 1876 and fully restored to its original glory. Pietro and his brother, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, who painted the Allegory of Good Government and Bad Government fresco in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, belonged to the famous Sienese School which flourished during the late Middle Ages and foreshadowed the art of the Renaissance.
Castiglion del Bosco is a privat estate and one of the founding members of the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino.

 

Photo album Van d'Orcia

 

   
Pienza, panorama   Camigliano, panorama  
San Quirico d'Orcia - lo.tangelini
Pienza  

Camigliano

 

 

Val d'Orcia album

 

View on Sant'Angelo in Colle

  Montalcino, Poggio alle Mura, Cimitero   L'Abbazia di Sant'Antimo (Montalcino)

View on Sant'Angelo in Colle

 

 

Poggio alle Mura, Cimitero

 

  L'Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, l'abside della chiesa originaria
   
   

Pietro Lorenzetti, Annunciazione dei Santi in the Chiesa di San Michele in Castiglione del Bosco

Pietro Lorenzetti paints the fresco "Annunciazione dei Santi" in the Church of San Michele in Castiglion del Bosco's Il Borgo. It was rediscovered in 1876 and fully restored to its original glory. Pietro and his brother, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, who painted the Allegory of Good Government and Bad Government fresco in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, belonged to the famous Sienese School which flourished during the late Middle Ages and foreshadowed the art of the Renaissance.


The abbey of Sant’Antimo



The Abbey of Sant'Antimo

The Abbey of Sant'Antimo, in a picture-perfect setting, just about 26 km north of Podere Santa Pia, and 10 km south of Montalcino, dates from the 12th century. It's one of the finest Romanesque religious buildings in Italy. Nearby the town of Sant'Angelo in Colle, an enchanting well-preserved village on the top of a hill contained in its circle of walls. From the Abbey of Sant'Antimo, a footpath (6 km) leads to Sant’Angelo in Colle.
There is a hiking trial from the church which takes you up into the woods towards Montalcino. The trail is well marked - it goes to your right from the main pathway to the church, just before you turn left to go to the church.
[read more]

The façade, which remains incomplete, houses a portal, probably one of a pair planned originally, surmounted by a lintel datable to the first half the 12th century, together with capitals, friezes and ferrules. The element that confers a French imprint on this church more than any other is the basilical ground plan, an ambulatory with radial chapels, unique in Tuscany and among the few present in Italy.
A study of Sant’Antimo was made by the art historian Raspi-Serra, and completed in the 1960’s. It brought us to conclude that the portal on the left side of the church of Santa Maria in San Quirico d’Orcia (approximately 20 km from Saint’Antimo), is none other than one of the two portals intended for the abbey. Perhaps the monastery, at that time, already in a state of decline, decided to give over the second portal to this other church.

The entrance has a high arch, and bas-relief decorations. Particularly interesting is the small doorway to the left; this dates back to the 9th century. Also on this side is the Bell Tower, with single-light and double-light windows. One of the bells dates back to 1219. The pre-Romanesque primitive chapel is visible on the right. The interior has three naves separated by high columns, alternated with pilasters in clusters in the lower part and twin lancet galleries above. The capitals in marble from the nearby Castelnuovo quarry are decorated with floral, human and geometric figures. The apse has radial chapels joined by an ambulatory, as in French Cathedrals.

The church is guarded at the entry by two stylised lions, probably destined for the external portal, datable to the 12th century and attributed to the Master of Cabestany, as is the splendid capital with the scenes of Daniel in the lions." The refined geometrical and leaf motifs, precise in outline and cleanly carved, indicate an origin in Auvergne.

To the right of the larger church, set at the beginning of the ambulatory, there is a Carolingian chapel of the 8th or 9th century, a small building with a single rectangular aisle and a semicircular apse. Outside on the left, the imposing bell tower rise to around 30 m, divided into four orders, decorated in Lombard style with a with a hint of Pisan taste in the columns at the angles of the base. The bell tower houses two bells, one of which is engraved with Abbot Ugo's name (1216-1222) and the date 1219.


 

The church is guarded at the entry by two stylised lions, probably destined for the external portal, datable to the 12 C and attributed to the Master of Cabestany, as is the splendid capital with the scenes of Daniel in the lionsden." The refined geometrical and leaf motifs, precise in outline and cleanly carved, indicate an origin in Auvergne.

 

The Abbey of Sant'Antimo was constructed on the site of a Roman villa. In the 4th and 5th centuries the village of Castelnuovo dell'Abate,
on the hills nearby, was an important inhabited centre, endowed with a parish.
Pieces recycled from the villa were reused in the church and are still visible in the tower.


The commune Montalcino is made up of four urban centers: Montalcino, San Angelo in Colle, Castelnuovo dell’Abate and Torrenieri; Although only 16km in diameter,the altitude and soil composition vary throughout its sub-regions.

 


View The commune of Montalcino in a larger map

 


Sant’Angelo in Colle

   

The Blue Guide also mentions the town of Sant'Angelo in Colle, as being an "enchanting well-preserved village on the top of a hill ... contained in its circle of walls". You can drive there on a white road (dirt road) from Sant'Antimo or on a paved road from Montalcino.
There are two good restaurants, Il Leccio and Trattoria Il Pozzo, and a wine shop, Enoteca Bruschetteria Il Cerchio Del Vento.

 

Panorama of Sant’Angelo in Colle, hamlet of Montalcino

View on Sant'Angelo in Colle [1]

 

Sant'Angelo in Colle is located in the southwestern subzone of the Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino appellation. Sant'Angelo in Colle is a typical medieval village situated on a hill (450m) within the Natural Park of Val D’Orcia
(included by UNESCO into the list of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage). Sant'Angelo in Colle is called Sant'Angelo in Colle or Saint Angel on the Hill because it is one of the highest elevations points in the appellation of Montalcino.
This small village offers two of the best restaurants in the Montalcino area, Il Leccio and Trattoria Il Pozzo. Sant'Angelo Scalo further down the mountain has a good butcher en an excellent small restaurant, Caffe' Sant'Angelo, the locals' first choice when it comes to authentic Tuscan cuisine.

 

 


Sant’Angelo in Colle

 

Since the 11th century, the medieval fortress Castello di Velona has been guarding over the Via Clodia, the ancient road built to connect Etruria with Rome. The origins of the castle Velona takes away the 11th century, which originally functioned as a protective fortress, then a luxurious villa of the aristocratic, and by the end of the XX century has turned into a luxury hotel.

 


Castello di Velona


San Quirico d’Orcia

   
San Quirico d’Orcia is situated on a hill slope between the Orcia river and the Tuoma torrent valley. Getting into San Quirico, walking from north through the Dante Alighieri street, you can find the Collegiata Church, a spended building from the XII century. Near the Church you can find the Palazzo Chigi, that hosts now the municipal building, built in the XVII century, Inside the palazzo there are a lot of beautiful wall paintings and at the first floor it hosts the Italian Garden Archive. In front of it you can find the Palazzo Pretorio, where the Natural Artistic and Cultural Park of Val d’Orcia comitee is located. Walking towards south you'll hit the Piazza della Libertà, San Quiricos' main square, with the San Francesco Church and the Porta Nuova, the ancient access to the village. In the same square there are Horti Leonini , a typical garden from the XVI century. During the summer there are a lot of cultural activities in it, such as the “Forme nel Verde”, an important international sculpture exhibition.


 
San Qurico d'Orcia
     
The Val d’Orcia Unesco Worldwide Humanity Heritage

The Val d’Orcia is an important natural, artistic and cultural park and from 2nd july 2004 is declared Unesco Worldwide Humanity Heritage, because of its excellent inspiration for many artists from Middle Ages on. The Val d’Orcia deeply influenced the development of the landscape celebrated by senese’s school painters which flourished during the Renaissance. Images of the Val d’Orcia, and particularly depictions of landscapes where people are depicted as living in harmony with nature, have come to be seen as icons of the Renaissance and have profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking.
The Val d’Orcia, or Valdorcia extends from the hills south of Siena to Monte Amiata. It is characterised by gentle, carefully cultivated hills occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza (rebuilt as an “ideal town” in the 15th century under the patronage of Pope Pius II), Radicofani (home to the notorious brigand-hero Ghino di Tacco) and Montalcino (the Brunello di Montalcino is counted among the most prestigious of Italian wines).
The Val d’Orcia is an important natural, artistic and cultural park and from 2nd july 2004 is declared Unesco Worldwide Humanity Heritage, because of its excellent inspiration for many artists from Middle Ages on.


The Val d'Orcia between Pienza and Monte Amiata, view to the west from La Foce. The territory of the Val d'Orcia is made up, mainly of a hilly landscape with gently rolling hills and valleys typical of the Sienese Crete and a rich variety of vegetation.
     
     

View Larger Map
 
   
Camigliano, Castelnuovo dell'Abate, S.Angelo in Colle, S. Angelo Scalo, Torrenieri and Tavernelle are frazioni of Montalcino.


Holiday Accommodation Tuscany


Podere Santa Pia, a formal cloister in the Tuscan Maremma is situated on the outskirts of Castiglioncello Bandini and dominates one of the most beautiful setting that nature can offer: the Tuscan countryside. Explore the medieval hillside villages of Pienza, Monticchiello, Civitella Paganico or Castelmuzio, watch the Ponte della Pia near the Eremo di Rosia and marvel at settlements that date back to Etruscan times,such as Sorano, Sovana and Pitigliano. And of course taste the famous local wines in Montepulciano orMontalcino, cities where the refined beauty of the squares and churches blends perfectly with the ancient traditions of its wines.

Holiday homes in the Tuscan Maremma | Holiday home Podere Santa Pia


       

 

 


Monte Cucco wine region
Castiglioncello Bandini

San Qurico d'Orcia


Duomo di Montalcino, la cattedrale di San Salvatore

 

Podere Santa Pia is located 3 km from Castigliocello Bandini, 15 km from Abazziia San 't Antimo and Montalcino, and 1 hour away from the seaside and close to art cities like Siena, Pienza, Montepulciano and San Quirico d'Orcia.

 

Rocca di Tentennano


Rocca di Tentennano

Castello Colle Massari,
view from Podere Santa Pia
Castel Porrona, a charming medieval village dating back to the 11th century, between Cinigiano and Castiglioncello Bandini and Podere Santa Pia
       
Montalcino Restaurants

      S.Angelo in Colle Restaurants

Re di Macchia
Via Soccorso Saloni 21, Montalcino
Tel: 0577-846116 email: redimacchia@tiscalinet.it
Closed: Thursday
Authentic Tuscan cuisine.

Osteria di Porta al cassero
Via della Libertà 9, Montalcino
Tel: 0577-847196
Closed: Wednesday
Very good local cuisine.

La Crocina
loc. La Croce, 1, 53024 Montalcino
www.osteriacrocina.it

Castello Banfi La Taverna
Castello di Poggio alle Mura | Poggio Alle Mura, 53024 Poggio alle Mura
Castello di Poggio alle Mura | Poggio Alle Mura, 53024 Poggio alle Mura
Open for Lunch
(January, 30th - December, 8th )
Monday – Saturday
From April 8th till November 4th, open from Monday to Sunday
www.castellobanfi.com

Taverna del Grappolo Blu
Scale di via Moglio 1, Montalcino
Tel: 0577-847150
Always open
www.grappoloblu.it


Boccon di Vino
Loc. Colombaio Tozzi 201, Montalcino
Tel: 0577-848233
email: boccon-di-vin@libero.it
Closed: Tuesday
www.boccondivinomontalcino.it




 

Il Giglio
Via Soccorso Saloni 5, Montalcino
Tel: 0577-848167 email: hotelgiglio@tin.it
Closed: Tuesday


Le Potazzine - La Vineria
Piazza Garibaldi 8, Montalcino
Tel: 0577-846054
Closed: Monday
www.lepotazzine.it
(Potazzine is the Italian word for very
colorful and vivacious birds which
inhabit the Tuscan countryside.)

Ristorante Al Giardino
Piazza Cavour 2, Montalcino
Tel: 0577-849076
Closed: Sunday

Ristorante Trattoria L'Angolo
Via Ricasoli 9, Montalcinio
Tel: 0577-848017
Closed: Tuesday

 

Camigliano

Il Galletto Di Camigliano
Di Lucentini Giorgio

Via Dell'arco 8 | Camigliano, Montalcino

L'Osteria del Galletto is located in Camigliano, a delightful medieval 'borgo' or frazione of Montalcino.
Website | +39 331 712 0292



 


Trattoria Il Pozzo
|www.trattoriailpozzo.com
S. Angelo in Colle, Piazza del Pozzo
Telefono 0577 844015
Nel cuore del borgo medievale di S. Angelo in Colle, dove la Val d'Orcia incontra la Maremma, Franca e Paola Binarelli propongono ogni giorno, in una calorosa atmosfera familiare, i migliori piatti della cucina tipica del territorio.

Ristorante Il Leccio | www.trattoriailleccio.it
S. Angelo in Colle, Via Costa Castellare
Telefono 0577. 844 175

Trattoria Il Leccio in Sant'Angelo in Colle
The word leccio means "holm oak" in Italian, from the Latin "ilex", and, in fact, the toponym Montalcino comes from a combination of "monte" or "mount" and "ilex", in other words, the "holm oak mount". People from Montalcino are called, in fact, "ilcinesi" from the Latin "ilex".
www.trattoriailleccio.com

 

S.Angelo Scalo Restaurants

On the main street of Scalo is the Caffè Sant’Angelo, owned by Pino and Daniela. A place where Italians eat on a daily basis. This is always an excellent indicator of value and quality.

Closed Sundays. Tel. 340 8305269 (Pino)– booking advisable at lunchtime.

Osteria Caffè Sant’Angelo
Via Grossetana, 8
 | Sant'Angelo Scalo, 53024Montalcino

 



[1] Photo by LigaDue, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported  license.

 

This page uses material from the Wikipedia articles Abbey of Sant'Antimo, Montalcino, published under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Abbey of Sant'Antimo.



Comune di Montalcino

Abbey of Sant’Antimo website

Montalcino Trekking Urbano | www.assessoratoturismomontalcino.com

Restaurants in Tuscany |Restaurants in Montalcino and Sant'Angelo in Colle


Nearby the town of Sant'Angelo in Colle
Nearby the town of Sant’Angelo in Colle, 6km from Sant’Antimo, an enchanting well-preserved village on the top of a hill contained in its circle of walls. You can drive there on a dirt road from Sant’Antimo or on a paved road from Montalcino.


Circular walk from Sant'Antimo

   
There is a hiking trial from Sant'Antimo which takes you up into the woods towards Montalcino.
The trail is well marked - it goes to your right from the main pathway to the church, just before you turn left to go to the church. Both times we were there we walked out along the trail for about 30 minutes, then walked back, but you can walk all the way to Montalcino. You get some lovely views of the church and the valley along the trail.
The Blue Guide also mentions the town of Sant'Angelo in Colle, 6km from Sant'Antimo, as being an "enchanting well-preserved village on the top of a hill ... contained in its circle of walls". You can drive there on a white road (dirt road) from Sant'Antimo or on a paved road from Montalcino.
 

Castelnuovo dell'Abate - Vivo d'Orcia

 
Castelnuovo dell'Abate
This spectacular itinerary descends from the Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, surrounded by silence and Brunello vineyards, then climbs up the pristine slopes of Monte Amiata, an ancient extinct volcano. The trip ends up in Vivo d'Orcia, one of the most well-conserved and verdant localities in Tuscany, charged with energy from the volcano.

Departure at Abbazia di Sant'Antimo in Castelnuovo dell'Abate - Municipality of Montalcino
Arrival at Vivo d'Orcia- Municipality of Castiglione d'Orcia
Distance about 20 km |Duration: 3 and a half - 4 hours

Walking in Tuscany | Castelnuovo dell'Abate - Vivo d'Orcia
 

Walk around Pienza | Montepulciano - Pienza



Walk around Pienza


   

The trail starts on the Piazza Dante Alighieri in Pienza, and continues along the Viale Santa Caterina that leads to the Pieve di Corsignano, an exceptional example of Romanesque art just outside of the city walls of Pienza. Admire the carvings on the side of this ancient structure, which dates possibly from the 10th century. This was Pienza's original parish church.
Follow the paved path beyond this beautiful Romanesque church, first along a derelict farm, then along the where you are right on a paved road to the intersection with the road San Quirico d'Orcia - Pienza. Walk in the direction of Pienza and turn right after about 10 minutes. The path runs downhill to Podere Arpicella. Turn left, and beyond a medieval tower, you can walk right back to Pienza (Viale Santa Caterina).

Make time to visit the Romanesque Pieve di Corsignano, half a kilometre out of Pienza, along Via Fonti from Piazza Dante Alighieri. The Pieve di Corsignano dates from the 10th century and boasts a strange circular bell tower. There are no regular visiting times but the church is usually open.

 

Montepulciano - Pienza | 11 km, 3 hours

This walk is interesting for its varied landscape: from Montepulciano to Monticchiello you walk through countryside with olive groves, vineyards, walnut and fig trees and through typical Mediterranean woods, with holm oaks (evergreen oak Quercus Ilex), heather and broom. From Monticchiello to Pienza you walk on the balcony of the Val d'Orcia, a valley among beautiful rolling hills, framed by wheat fields, and occasional dark green pinnacles of cypress.

Walking in Tuscany | Walk around Pienza | Montepulciano - Pienza

 

Pieve di Corsignano


Madonna di San Biagio

Maps and descriptions available in Podere Santa Pia

Kompass map 653 Pienza - Montalcino - Monte Amiata (1:50.000)
Touring Club Italiano (map 8 Toskana, 1:200.000)

Links

Walking in Tuscany | San Quirico d'Orcia, Bagni Vignoni, Castiglione d'Orcia, Rocca d'Orcia, Montalcino, La Foce
Trekking in Tuscany | Rocca d'Orcia


     
Podere Santa Pia, situated in a particularly scenic valley, which overlooks on the hills around Cinigiano,
up to the Maremma seashore and Monte Christo



Tuscany's Best-Kept Secret | Holiday house Podere Santa Pia

The Maremma is a large area in southern Tuscany. It is a perfect microcosm that stretches between the provinces of Livorno and Grosseto. In the Divine Commedy, Dante Alighieri identified its borders from "Cecina to Corneto" (Tarquinia in Lazio). Maremma is unique because of the variety of its territory: blue sea, long beaches, black rock, hills covered with woods, marshes and flat lands, green hills and natural thermal baths.

Wines in Tuscany
In the case of Montalcino, gradual economic decline has recently been reversed by economic growth due to the increasing popularity of the town's famous wine Brunello di Montalcino, made from the sangiovese grosso grapes grown within the comune. The number of producers of the wine has grown from only 11 in the 1960s to more than 200 today, producing some 330,000 cases of the Brunello wine annually. Brunello was the first wine to be awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status. In addition to Brunello di Montalcino, which must be aged five years prior to release, 6 years for the Riserva, Rosso di Montalcino (DOC), made from sangiovese grosso grapes and aged one year, and a variety of Super Tuscan wines are also produced within the comune, as well as the Moscadello sweet white wines for which it was most famous until the development of the Brunello series.

Brunello di Montalcino is a red Italian wine produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montalcino located about 120 km south of Florence in the Tuscany wine region. Brunello, roughly translated as "small dark one" in the local dialect, is the unofficial name of the clone of Sangiovese (also known as Sangiovese Grosso) grown in the Montalcino region. In 1980, the Brunello di Montalcino was awarded the first Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) designation and today is one of Italy's best-known and most expensive wines.
Brunello di Montalcino is made 100% from Sangiovese. Traditionally, the wine goes through an extended maceration period where color and flavor are extracted from the skins. Following fermentation the wine is then aged in oak. Traditionally, the wines are aged 3 years or more "in botte"-large Slavonian oak casks that impart little oak flavor and generally produce more austere wines. Some winemakers will use small French barrique which impart a more pronounced vanilla oak flavor and add a certain fruitiness to the wine. There is a middle ground where the wine is aged in small barrique for a short time and then spends a longer sojourn in the traditional botte.
Most producers will separate their production between a normale and riserva bottling. The normale bottles are released on the market 50 months after harvest and the riserva are released a year afterward. The current aging requirements were established in 1998 and dictate that Brunellos are to be aged in oak for 2 years and at least 4 months in a bottle before release. Winemakers who intentionally stray from these rules and regulations can possibly receive a conviction of commercial fraud accompanied by an imprisonment sentence of up to six years.

The Sangiovese grape is the most widely planted grape in the Montalcino region and is the only permitted grape in the Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. The particular clones of Sangiovese are unique to the Montalcino region and have developed in adaption to that area's specific terroir. The altitude and climate of the Montalcino region has provided an area where Sangiovese ripens more fully and consistently than anywhere else in Tuscany. These factors contribute to the body, color, extract and tannins commonly associated with Brunello di Montalcino. In contrast to Chianti, the other famous Sangiovese based wine of Tuscany, Brunello di Montalcinos have a more fleshy texture with common aromas and flavors of blackberry, black cherry, black raspberry, chocolate, leather and violets.
Brunello is often compared with the Pinot noir wines of Burgundy with its smooth tannins and ripe, fruit driven character. The high acidity of the wine allows it to pair well with food, especially grilled meat and game. A large portion of Brunello sold in the United States is purchased in restaurants. The wine has become particularly popular in America with nearly 1 out of every 3 bottles of Brunello di Montalcino being sold in the US. Brunello di Montalcino are known for their ability to age with well made examples from exceptional vintages often showcasing development for several decades. Master of Wine Mary Ewing-Mulligan notes that most Brunellos often need at least 10 years before they shed their youthfulness and start to harmonize their flavors.

In addition to Brunello di Montalcino, producers in the Montalcino region can produce wine under Rosso di Montalcino, Sant'Antimo and Moscadello di Montalcino DOCs as well as the generic Indicazione geografica tipica designation of Toscana IGT.

The castle of Poggio alle Mura, or Banfi Castle, is a family-owned vineyard estate and winery in the Brunello region of Tuscany. The origin of the fortress can be traced to the ancient Etruscans, but its deepest historical niche was carved during the Middle Ages. The Renaissance Romanesque structure served as the Republic of Siena's first line of defense against attack from the south and, in 1260 A.D., it was awarded to Placido Placidi, hero of the "Battle of Montaperti," which was immortalized by Dante in the "Divine Comedy." The castle's historical name is Poggio alle Mura.

Throughout the Middle Ages, Castello Banfi played a strategic role in numerous battles between the Sienese and invading powers. Atop the parapet guarding the castle's entrance - and still in good repair - is a "bertesca," a formidable shield of stone that protected Sienese knights as they poured cauldrons of scalding oil on such adversaries as the Aldobrandeschi, the Guelphs of Florence, the Spaniards, the French and the forces of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Prisoners of these wars were confined in a dungeon, now the castle's wine cellar. Two human skulls, obviously deemed unfit for Christian burial, rest in an alcove off the cellar's dark, winding stairwell to serve as a reminder of those parlous times; so do swords, pikes, helmets and breastplates that have decorated the castle's walls since the 15th century when they were replaced by newer armament, guns and cannons. Four vintage cannons still guard the terra-cotta-tiled reception court.

Castello di Poggio alle Mura, 53024 Montalcino (SI) | www.castellobanfi.it

La Taverna is a casual setting in the vaulted cellars of Banfi Castle.

Open for Lunch (January, 30th - December, 8th )
Monday – Saturday, opening time 1.00-2.30 PM
From April 8th till November 4th, open from Monday to Sunday

Open for Dinner (March,1st–November, 3rd)
Monday – Sunday, opening time 7.30-10.00 PM

DOCG Brunello di Montalcino


 


Castello di Argiano

 


Banfi, Castello di Poggio alle Mura

Member companies of the DOCG Brunello di Montalcino [1]


   
A     B     C     D         F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M     N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W     Z



Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino

The Consortium of the Brunello of Montalcino Wine was founded in 1967, on the morn of its being branded a D.O.C. wine, as a free association between winemakers bent on safeguarding their wine and on accentuating its qualities. The Consortium has favored the onset of a productive fabric made of old and new, small and large winemaking firms alike, brought together by the common interest of respecting nature and aspiring to the highest quality of wine.
The Consortium organizes events in Italy and abroad, as well as participation by winemakers in trade fairs. It manages public relations and the image of Montalcino wines through its press office, and distributes news and information on an official website, with numerous publications in several languages. A business more in the shadows but no less important is the assistance service provided to specialized press and to opinion makers, to which it caters with organized wine tasting and sampling events and tours. The assistance given to members on the standards that govern wine production are just as important.

Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino, Piazza Cavour n. 8, 53024 Montalcino | www.consorziobrunellodimontalcino.it