Pienza and Montepulciano

Saturday, May 6

Today we drove to two villages, Pienza and Montepulciano.  Both were amazing and a must see  if you come to Tuscany.

Pienza is a tiny village high a top a hill in southern Tuscany overlooking the beautiful valley cal Val d'orcin.

 It has been said that this city was "born from a thought of love and from a dream of beauty" (Giovanni Pascoli) according to the will of Pope Pius II.  The village is located about 20 kilometers east of Montalcino and a few kilometers west of Montelpulciano amidst gentle undulating hills and wonderful natural landscapes.  It's a superb example of Renaissance architecture with all main monuments located in the town center, Piazza Pio II.  The cathedral is the tallest building on the square and is beautiful inside and out.  For 2 Euros you can go beneath the cathedral to the crypt and view archeological findings
as well as images and diagrams of the rebuilding of the cathedral foundation. On either side of the cathedral are open spaces where there are views of the valley below.  I would also recommend that you make sure you go on the walking path on the town wall on the south side, views you won't want to miss.
  The towns main product is cheese, pecorino cheese.
There are cheese shops everywhere and you can't help going in one the aroma is just wonderful.


Next we drove to Montpulciano,
a storied Renanisance town and one of the villages we can see from the back of our villa.  This town is famous for it palaces and medieval wine cellars.  We were dropped off at one of the highest points in the city near the old fort.  From here we walked down to the Piazza Grande, just beautiful.  The back drop of all the stone on the building was a spot for me to do a few photos of our group later in the day.  Thank you my subjects!

From here we wandered down the street to one of the oldest wine cellars in the city, De Ricci.
Cave of the Ancient well

Starting at street level you ascend down into a cave where massive temperature controlled wine barrels sit, some being 15 ft. in diameter.  On your way out you can stop off at the wine cellar tasting room and sample their wine and then purchase a few bottles of Vino Nobile for the rest of your stay or for home.

As the raindrops increased we decided to stop in to the historical Caffe Paliziano (1868) in the center of Montepulciano and grab some lunch. Some of our group had the same idea so lunch time with Michael & Stephanie, Arlene & Shelley and us in a historical Caffe in Montepulciano with spectacular views, gorgeous surroundings, and yummy pastries, it doesn't get any better!

We stopped at the fort and the wine shoppe where we read that not only can you get some amazing wines but the archeological digs beneath the glass bottom floor was amazing!

Kind of freaky at the same time.  Our meeting place was at the Piazza Grande where we had some extra time to take a few pictures, have some Gelato, or a glass of wine (thank you Norman).

"Hey Steve have you seen Norman"?

Is Norman over there?

Where is he?
On our way out of town we stopped by the coolest shop of a copper smith. He was making cooking utensils for a chef in New York. Wish I would have seen him on my way in....

Our evening ended at a local restaurant called Lo Stranero in the town of Petriganano.  The food, the service, and the setting was absolutely perfect!

Lo Stranero Restaurant in Petrignano

Our table for the evening
Just one of our many Courses
Steve and Rene' enjoying the evening!
A toast from Rory!

Rory with the Chef/Owners of Lo Stranero


  1. Oh you make me want to book a ticket and go experience it all for myself! I'm sure everyone with you appreciates all the beautiful photos you took too.


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