The medieval center of Montalcino is certainly picturesque, but this hilltop village south of Siena is best known as the birthplace of the prestigious Brunello wines. A favorite destination for oenophiles, pretty Montalcino is also popular with photographers and foodies.
Considered among Italy’s flagship wines, Brunello di Montalcino is made from the Sangiovese grapes grown in the postcard-perfect hills of Val d’Orcia, just outside Montalcino’s 13th-century town walls. Join a wine tour from Florence, Rome, or Siena to explore the charming town center—including the 14th-century fortress and nearby Abbey of Sant’Antimo—and taste some of the excellent local wines.
Most wine trips include lunch, so gourmands can sample some of Tuscany’s famed cuisine. Some tours also stop by the neighboring and equally photogenic wine-producing town of Montepulciano.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Montalcino is accessible to wheelchairs, but some wineries might not be. Check in advance.
How to Get There
By car, take the SR2 highway south from Siena. Getting to Montalcino by public transit involves multiple bus connections. For a hassle-free visit, join a small-group or private tour that includes transportation.
When to Get There
The countryside around Montalcino is particularly beautiful in spring and fall, when the fields and vineyards are lush and green. Wine aficionados may enjoy visiting in late summer to see thevendemmia (traditional grape harvest) and production.
Montalcino More Than Wine
Easily explored on foot, Montalcino is a quintessential Tuscan village, surrounded by fortified walls and topped by an imposing fortress overlooking the Val d’Orcia and Maremma hills. Stroll past the historic Palazzo dei Priori town hall and the main Piazza del Popolo, with its Gothic loggia. Other highlights include the Palazzo Vescovile and the churches of San Francesco, Sant’Agostino, and Sant’Egidio.
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- Montalcino Fortress (Fortezza di Montalcino)
- Abbey of Sant'Antimo (Abbazia di Sant'Antimo)
- National Art Gallery of Siena (Pinacoteca Nazionale Siena)
- Siena Piazza del Mercato
- Siena Cathedral (Duomo)
- Siena Historic Center (Siena Centro Storico)
- Siena Civic Museum (Museo Civico di Siena)
- Mangia Tower (Torre del Mangia)
- Santa Maria della Scala
- Palio of Siena (Palio di Siena)
- Fonte Gaia (Gaia Fountain)
- Siena Cathedral Museum (Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana)
- Piazza del Campo
- Piccolomini Library (Libreria Piccolomini)
- Baptistery of San Giovanni (Battistero di San Giovanni)