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The street that leads to Montalcino will allow for an appreciation of the true beauty of the place. Having arrived at the summit the eyes can behold the splendour of an ample and varied panorama from the Senese hills to the mountains of Amiata. The fortress (constructed to defend the territory in 1361 by the Senese Mino Foresi and Domenico di Feo utilizing the already pre-existing thirteenth-century wall) rises to the highest point of the city and dominates the surrounding valleys. On the wall of one of the center rooms hangs a Standard attributed to the Sodoma school.

The center of this small town is exemplary of the architecture of the late Middle Ages. Following the road across from the fortress you will find on via Ricasoli a gothic marble portal and a rose window that beautify the simple basic Romanesque facade of the Church of Sant'Agostino (thirteenth-century). Nearby, although it will soon be moved to the convent of the church of Sant' Agostino, you will find the Musei Riuniti (civico and Diocesano). The museums contain pieces of outstanding art work such as a Wooden Cross painted in the twelfth of thirteenth-centuries by an unknown artist. It is one of the oldest Senese works. There are also an Angelo annunciate and a Madonna annunciata, two beautiful wooden sculptures from the early fifteenth- century, as well as a Saint Sebastian and a Madonna with Saints done in Robbian terracotta.
The Duomo (San Salvatore) can be reached by going to the right after leaving the museum. The Senese architect Agostino Fantastici Planned a project (1812-32) to restructure to pre-existing church into the neo-classical norm which dominated the time. Proceed downhill to arrive at the Piazza del Popolo where the Palazzo Comunale (or dei Priori) stands. In the square is La Loggia which was constructed in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In The contrada of Castelvecchio, is the Church of San Francesco (XIII century) wich as been redone over the course of time. Inside are the frescoes by Vincenzo Tamagni painted in the early sixteenth-century. Just a few kilometers from Montalcino rises the Abbazia di Sant'Antimo (1118). This is one of the most beautiful Romanseque monastic churches in existence. Its Romanesque-Lombard style gives its structure both a physical force and delicacy at the same time.

Nautilus - Pienza, Siena

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