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yuliangpang Montepulciano - A travel report by yuliang
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Montepulciano,  Italy - flag Italy
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yuliangpang's travel reports

Montepulciano-I have been there

  10 votes
Page: 1 2
Montepulciano, together with Pienza and Montalcino, claims to be the most classical towns in Tuscany, Italy, where you can fully appreciate the beauty of Val d'Orcia. Both Pienza and Val d'Orcia are UNESCO sites.

the landscape of Tuscany
the landscape of Tuscany
Montepulciano lies 13km east of Pienza, 186km North of Rome. It serves as the frontline if you want to explore the valley, Val d'Orcia by car from Rome. It is very near to the Motorway A1.

I dropped a visit to Montepulciano last Sunday by train. I made an very serious mistake because i did not read the travel book very carefully, i took it for granted that Montepulciano station was in the centre of the town, therefore i bought the train ticket for Montepuciano station without any hesitation. But when i got off the train, I realized something wrong. There were no tourists around, only were a few old guys just seating on a bench and chatting, and i approached them for help. One old guy kindly told me that Montepulciano was 12 km far from the station, and he also stressed that there was no bus service on sunday. I was standing there for a while, and thinking about what i should do next. Went back? no, the weather was so nice, how i can just waste it by staying train in another 3 hours! 12km was not too far, if considering the Red Army's 12000-miles long march!! The idea for continuing the trip was outweighted the stop-and-go-back instinct. The old guy looked at me with a strange smile, but he did not say anything. But when made my decision to get there on foot, he said ok, you might try.

At the very beginning i did not really think of how far 12km it is, because i found some fun on the road. The private wineyard one after the other and wild flowers were all new to me. I took pictures meanwhile i were moving. You know what's more interesting is that there were still one or two bunches of grapes hanging on the trees, i could pretend to make pictures and come to it more and more closely. If there was nobody, i took one bunch of grapes from the trees quickly. I could walk meanwhile tasting my great trophy. This was the most happiest moment in my life. Because it was really a refreshing experience being as a "thief".

Favourite spots:
the wineyard in Montepulciano
the wineyard in Montepulciano
It was around 8 km away from the station that I began to keeping thinking of how many kilometers were still left. I felt fed up with the invariable scenes on the road, there was nothing new for making pictures. What's more terrible was that the camera ran out the battery and i changed another one, which i charged it just last night, but i was reminded that Battery was going to ran out soon.

The idea of giving up came up to mind again, i began to search the bus. I found at this moment there was bus service on sunday indeed, but the bus did not ran very often. I choosed to complete the whole journey on foot and keep some battery for the town.

I felt such an achievement when i got to my destination, i did not expect that i could do it. It did take me around 3 hours. I managed to find a place to sit down for a while and then take some water.

I found a tourist office, but it was closed. Never mind, the town looked very small, i did not need a map. That's my first impression.

What's really great:
the sunflowers
the sunflowers
Montepulciano was the highest hilltop town in Tuscany, i could saw it miles away. Therefore the first thing that caught my attention at the foot of the hill was a cathedral ant its bell tower built on the top of the hill. A stone gate for entering the town was still well built, i supposed it was the only way to the center, but i was not so sure.

Like any other italian towns, the center of the Montepulciano was very atmospheric. It was quiet and peaceful. Though there were some tourists, like me, but not too much. Therefore wandering along the street was really a great fun. Unfortunately I did not have much time to fully enjoy it, i began to worry about the bus for the station, i did not want to come back on foot. I made a stroll as quick as i can. The more haste, the less speed. I was lost and i could not find the way out. But i did unexpectedly come to some places that was on my lists. The Palazzo Comunale (Communal Palace) and its surroundings was the real center of the town.

Palazzo Communale
Palazzo Communale
Actually i did not have time to explore every sight on the list of my information, but i could put them here as a reference for your visit:

1. Palazzo Communale, designed in a way as the Palazzo della Signoria (Palazzo Vecchio) of Florence.

2. Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, housing a masterpiece by Taddeo di Bartolo from the Sienese School.

3. The Santuary of the Madonna di San Biagio, outside of the town, on the road to Chianciano.

the cat and its nestle
the cat and its nestle
I did not stay there overnight, but i thought it would be a peaceful place to stay.

Landscape again
Landscape again
I did not stay there at night, but i wondered it would be very interesting to stay somewhere in a farmhouse with friends in a farmhouse and taste the great wine or sweet grape. That's my dream.

Though i was lost in the town, but it was not big or difficult enough for those who did have time to fully exploit the town. There were a lot of nice places to have a cup of coffee, tea, whatever. Do not worry about that, That's the life of Italians, they know better than you and I to enjoy life.

i don't know what it is
i don't know what it is
Montepulciano is more famous for its wine, Vino Nobile. It is also known for its pork, cheese and "pici" pasta. Please do find a restraunt to try the wine and the pici pasta at least.

Other recommendations:
unfortunately that's not my home
unfortunately that's not my home
1. Strongly remmended you not to follow me to get the center on foot from the station. Remember Montepulciano and Montepulciano Station are two different places!!!

2. Try to be here by car. It is much easier to explore the town or even the whole Tuscany region by car.

3. do not come here on Sunday or pulic holidays, there are very few bus to Montepulciano from the Staion. I managed to make a quick visit in the center of the town and got back to bus station which was out of the center around 2:30 in the afternoon, but i found i need to wait 2 hours for the next bus to Montepulciano station.

4. Do not trust those who you might see at the Montelpuciano station. On my way to Montepulciano i found there were buses passing, i realized i was cheated. This is further convinced by the story of a British guy that i met just in the station. He came from Luca, but when he got outside the station, he was told the same thing. He was smart to suspect, but he stayed the whole afternoon there.

Published on Tuesday October 28th, 2008

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Thu, Nov 06 2008 - 06:45 AM rating by rangutan

Super report with a lot of good tips, well done!

Thu, Oct 30 2008 - 04:36 PM rating by krisek

A very interesting report! Good practical hints and personal touch. I like the Palazzo Communale's photo! Which restaurant did you choose?

Wed, Oct 29 2008 - 09:18 PM rating by aufgehts

You definately had an experience! I had fun reading your report and I hope you had good walking shoes on!! :)

Tue, Oct 28 2008 - 10:44 AM rating by davidx

This sounds less crowded and more my scene than much of Tuscany. I wish you could have spent longer there because what you tell is very interesting.

Tue, Oct 28 2008 - 04:54 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Again you did it! Another fine report.

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