Itinerary 3:
The Renaissance of taste

(20 km - 30 Minuts)

 

Montepulciano
(20 Km - 30 Minuts)


Montepulciano Located on the hill-ridge separating the Valdichiana from the Val d’Orcia, Montepulciano stands amidst typical Tuscan gentle rolling hills and green valleys which man shaped and turned throughout the centuries into a huge garden covered in vineyards and olive-groves and dotted with cypresses standing, alone or lined along country-tracks, against the blue Tuscan sun.
Montepulciano, known as far back as in Etruscan and Roman times (Romans called it Mons Politianus), first rose to importance in the 12th century as the swamping of the Valdichiana marked the decline of the Via Cassia (running further up north just below Cortona) as a commercial road and is therefore moved to the west between the Val d’Orcia and Siena. The town underwent a period of steady development, walls and a fortress were built and its position started alluring the neighbouring cities of Siena and Florence which were to contend for the town for a long time until Florence eventually took the town over in 1390. Montepulciano started since being enriched with magnificent buildings, especially during Renaissance times, such as the Cathedral, the Palazzo Comunale, the Fortezza Medicea and the Temple of San Biagio, which gained it the reputation of “ the pearl of the 16th century”.
Montepulciano’s immense architectural heritage is today combined with the production of one of Tuscany’s best red wines, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which Francesco Redi once described as follows: “Montepulciano d’ogni vino è il Re” (Montepulciano, a king amongst all wines).
Also worth mentioning is the thermal spa of S. Albino, located a few miles away from the town.


Events:

o Bruscello (August)
o Bravio delle Botti (barrel rolling contest) (September)


Pienza

(30 Km - 45 minuts)

PienzaThe castle of Corsignano came to be known as Pienza in the second half of the 15th century as Pope Pius II Piccolomini, originally from the village, completely converted it, based on plans by Rossellino, from a small medieval hamlet into a jewel of renaissance architecture finding its inspiration in the utopian models of the time and gave it its own name. The village, orderly and rational, can be seen as a monument as a whole, features human scale spaces and offers the visitor stunning views of the Val d’Orcia which appear as if painted by the Renaissance’s best.
Of great interest are the Cathedral, the Palazzo Piccolomini, built on plans by Bronzino and the Museo Diocesano, housing works by Sodoma and superb 15th and 16th century Flemish tapestries.
Pienza is also well known for its production of sheep cheeses manufactured in the Val d’Orcia countryside between typical “calanchi” (badlands) and green rolling hills (so called “crete”) and skilfully seasoned in different flavour varieties such as walnut leaves and “vinaccia” (grape pips and skins) or aged in limestone pits (formaggio di fossa).


Montalcino
(38 Km - 1 Ora)

MontalcinoThe charming town of Montalcino is perched high up on a hilltop overlooking the Val d’Orcia, the Val d’Arbia and the Valle dell’Obrone.
The town shows a typical austere medieval layout and offers its visitors to see the 14th century Palazzo Comunale (formerly Palazzo dei Priori), the Cathedral, built in neoclassical style on the remains of a 11th century Pieve and the churches of S. Agostino, S. Egidio and S. Francesco. The Museo Archeologico houses interesting prehistoric and Etruscan finds from the area whilst in the Museo Civico two “terracottas” by Andrea della Robbia are on display.
Montalcino, though, is known above all as the adoptive home of one of Tuscany’s and Italy’s most important red wines, the Brunello di Montalcino: made from pure Sangiovese Grosso grapes grown in the neighbouring countryside this wine is the ultimate expression of a territory and a land which are the very heart of Tuscany.


Events:
o Benvenuto Brunello (November)
o Sagra del Tordo (thrush festival) (October)

 

Itinerary 1:
Cortona
(11 km - 15 Minuts)
Itinerary 2:
Il Lago Trasimeno
(20 km - 15 Minuts)
Itinerary 3:
Il Rinascimento del Gusto
(20 km - 30 Minuts)

 

Agriturismo AGRO CENTORIO, Tuscany Italy - Loc. Centoia n° 145 - 52044 Cortona (AR) - Welcome, visitor n°
 
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