built along a narrow limestone ridge and, at 605 m (1,950 ft)
above sea level. The town is encircled by walls and fortifications
designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in 1511 for Cosimo I.
Inside the walls the streets are crammed with Renaissance-style
palazzi and churches, but the town is chiefly known for its good
local Vino Nobile wines.
a long, winding street called the Corso climbs up into the main
square, which crowns the summit of the hill.
In July-August there is Cantiere
Internazionale d'Arte, an arts festival created by the German
composer Hans Werner Henze. In August there are two festivals: the
Bruscello takes place on the 14th, 15th and 16th, when hordes of
actors reenact scenes from the town's turbulent history. For the
Bravio delle Botti, on the last Sunday in August, there is a parade
through the streets followed by a barrel race and a banquet to end
di San Biagio Via di San Biagio, 14 - Open daily
This beautiful church is on the outskirts of Montepulciano. Built
of honey - and cream - colored travertine, it is Sangallo's masterpiece,
a Renaissance gem begun in 1518. The project occupied him until
his daeth in 1534.
Bucelli Corso, 73 - Closed
The lower fašade of the palazzo (1648) is studded with ancient
Etruscan reliefs and funerary urns collected by its 18th-century
antiquarian owner, Pietro Bucelli.
Sant'Agostino Piazza Michelozzo - Open daily
Michelozzo built the church in 1427, with an elaborate carved
portal featuring the Virgin and child flanked by St. John and
Comunale Piazza Grande, 1 - Open Monday - Saturday
In the 15th century, Michelozzo added a tower and fašade to the
original Gothic town hall. The building is now a smaller version
of the Palazzo Vecchio. On a clean day, the views that can be seen
from the tower are superb.
Tarugi Piazza Grande - Closed.
The imposing 16th-century palazzo is next to the town hall and is
currently undergoing restoration to the fašade.
Duomo Piazza Grande - Open daily
The Duomo was designed between 1592 and 1630 by Ippolito Scalza.
The fašade is unfinished and plain, but the interior is Classical
in proportions. It is the setting for an earlier masterpiece from
the Siena School, the "Assumption of the Virgin" triptych painted
by Taddeo di Bartolo in 1401.