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Exploring Montepulciano and more

La Falconara is located in the Comune of Montepulciano (township), a fairly large town of Etruscan origin, which lived a period of great splendour during the medieval age and the Renaissance.

Right after Tarquinio the Superb was chased away from Rome in the year 319 BC, the Etruscan king Porsenna (also the 8th and last king of Rome) founded the city of Montepulciano. As the Medieval and later the Renaissance period passed on, more the second than the first, both ages left little traces of the Etruscan-Roman civilization. Beginning the seventh century this city appears constantly in the history of the Province of Siena. Important historians, both Italian and foreign, frequently write about the city.

Because the nearby hilltop towns of Chiusi and Cortona are also important Etruscan centres, all around Montepulciano and in other parts of the province, you may find Etruscan tombs and walls..., and two museums completely dedicated to their culture and their artisan objects (see Chiusi and Volterra). A little further away in Saturnia and Tarquinia, many are the archaeological settlements, some very important.

It is an elegant town, no doubt, and geographically very well located: one hour's drive from Siena, Arezzo, Orvieto and Perugia, and of course much closer to the beautiful Pienza, Monticchiello, San Quirico, and Montalcino, and therefore the whole Val d'Orcia (Orcia River Valley, a National Park, Patrimony of Humanity). Chiusi and Città della Pieve are located South, and going Eastward you find Lucignano and Cortona, and Lake Trasimeno. Not to count the many abbeys, important monasteries, and early churches. For further information, please visit the Website

There are small and larger theatres, of which the Poliziano Theatre of the 17th century is the most important. Then also the Fortezza, an antique fortress which used to make part of the Castellum Politianum, and others more recent like the Macelli Pubblici and the Cantinonearte theatres. Plus the Music Academy of Koln in the Palazzo Ricci, near the Main Square (Piazza Grande) which offers several concert seasons. All are open practically all year for concerts, assai cinemas, theatre and opera. Among the most important events of Montepulciano is the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte the second half of July, where many new and promising artists and their compositions are presented in a world ante prima.

The most important sights are:

  • Piazza Grande (main square on top of the town) surrounded by the Duomo (cathedral of 1592-1630) which beholds the famous trittico of Taddeo di Bartolo (1401) and works of della Robia, in addition to the Town Hall (XV century), Palazzo Terugi (XVI) and Palazzo Contucci (XV);
  • The temple of San Biagio (1528-1534) by Antonio Sangallo "the old", located outside the town;
  • Palazzo Buccelli, who's front piece is decorated with Etruscan coffins and high relieves;
  • The Teatro Poliziano (theatre), typical example of a theatre "italian style;
  • The Sant'Agostino church, by Michelozzo in 1427, and the churches of Santa Lucia, San Francesco, Santa Maria, Santa Maria delle Grazie and del Gesù, all to be visited and admired.

As far as the needs if everyday life, Montepulciano offers mostly everything: grocery stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, coffe shops, gelato, clothing and artisans stores, many restaurants (quite good too), and of course mechanics, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and what have you.

The first historical documents that prove the existence of the vine tree in this area go back to the 7th century. The wines of Montepulciano, of which the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is the most famous, have since been present in the refined and famous Florentine and Vatican tables, and today is considered one of the 5 most important wines of Italy. The poet Redi from Arezzo wrote in 1685 a phrase that passed on to history: "Montepulciano, king of all wines" Not to speak of the the finest of all Extra Virgin Olive Oil, born in the many olive grooves of the area.

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