Taking a tour to Pienza and Montepulciano means discovering the southern part of Siena called The Val d’Orcia, along the Strada delle Crete, wild and unspoit land where colors and tastes merge together
Are you looking for a place where both wine and food are excellent and so are the sights?
Well, then a Tour to Pienza and Montepulciano, along the Strada delle Crete SP438, one of the greatest roads in Tuscany, is something you can not miss.
All along the way, the colors will blend themselves: sweet rolling hills with green cypresses, golden yellow crops and grey earth, a rainbow will find his way to your eyes, getting them dragged into one of the most ecstatic experiences of the world.
On the way of your tour to Pienza and Montepulciano, just a few km south-west to Asciano, a tiny medieval village rich in religious buildings, lies the stunning Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, a both gothic and romanesque compound. There, you will be able to take delight in touching precious books inside the Library as well as admiring centuries-old frescoes in the cloister, the abbey’s marvelous glasses or the superb manger scene -set in the eighteenth century- of the crypt.
Proceeding towards Pienza on the county road SP458, you will encounter Trequanda, a town where historic and architectonic goods weave together. We suggest paying a visit to the Palazzo del Municipio, a palace built on the ruins of an ancient building still partially visible, and to both the “Torre”, a tower which dates back to the era of the Republic of Siena and the “Torre del Molino a Vento”, a dovecote built in the end of the eighteenth century.
The pigeon coop is set on the boundary of a cypressus and holm oak wood: here you will immerse your senses in a fairy atmosphere that will bring you back to the Walt Disney sagas of your childhood.
A few miles later lies Pienza, pleasure and pain of the Italian Renaissance. Famous for its fabulous food and its peculiar architecture, devised in the fifteenth century in behalf of Pope Pio II, willing to shape an ideal city on the style of the fourteenth century, the town is an Unesco world heritage site since 1996.
The major buildings of the city are assembled in the surroundings of the square dedicated to its founder, and are the Cathedral, the “Palazzo Comunale”, the “Palazzo Borgia” and the “Palazzo Piccolomini”, all greats examples of the renaissance taste. The town also offers a superior example of defensive walls, as well as a good area called “Riserva della Lucciola Bella”, where the nature exposes its wilder side to those willingto admire it.
Pienza also offers another kind of beauty: the gastronomic one. The well-known Pecorino, an hard cheese made with rennet, salt, sheep-milk and lactobacillus, is famous all over Italy thanks to its special sweet taste, probably consequent to its 90-days aging in oak barrels. Thus makes the cheese unique in the world.
There is also a short aging type, that reminds the perfumes of the Val d’Orcia pastures with its delicate taste.
On your way to the Tuscan countryside, you will discover the magnificent town of Montepulciano, an antique city where the architecture and the nature blend together to create buildings of priceless beauty such as the Palazzo Nobili-Tarugi, the Palazzo Buccelli or the Montepulciano dome, which dates back to the
Borgo Grondaie suggests visiting the Riserva Naturale del Lago di Montepulciano, a protected area where you will admire the Tuscan nature while enjoying a glass of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, the very specialty of Montepulciano.
The Vino Nobile it’s a ruby red wine, produced only with a particular Sangiovese vine variety called Prugnolo Gentile: it’s one of the most ancient wines in Italy and tastes dry, equilibrate and persistent with a possible wood flavour. It’s an intensely and flowery smelly wine and since 1989 has been awarded with the DOCG (Guaranteed and Supervised origin Denomination) appelation.
The rigid rules its producers has to follow order the wine to be kept riping for either 24 months in wooden barrels, or 18 months in wooden barrels and 6 months in non-specified barrels, or 12 months in wooden barrels, 6 months in a bottle and 6 months in non-specified barrels, starting the year after the grape harvest.
The appellation “Riserva” is given to those wines kept riping at least 36 months and 6 months bottled.
Tuscany: an unmissable region. Everyone appreciates the good wine, the most various landscapes and the best gastronomic specialties has to take a trip to discover the Crete and the Val D’Orcia.