Montalcino is a small town of about 5,000 souls yet its name is known throughout the world. Perhaps only Vatican City is better known with so few inhabitants. Nestled in the fertile rolling hills of the inner lands of Tuscany. At 564 meters above sea level Montalcino has a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. The poet, Alfonso Gatti, described the view as “A window to the Apocalypse.” On a clear day the view is extraordinary, the Sea, the island Elba, the Alps Apuane, Corsica, The Apennines, Volterra, Siena and Montepulciano.
Montalcino is an antique city with a rich history. The city was incorporated in 935, although the first official documents mention the acquisition of a few churches in the Montalcino area in 715 by the “King of the Longobardi.” Various artisan industries developed producing wool, wood products, olive oil, wine and honey but the Montalcino remained important for its geographical location. Numerous castles dot the surrounding area, the most important of which is Poggio alle Mura.
Montalcino, today, is known for its exclusive wines: Moscadello di Montalcino, Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino, and Poggio alle Mura. Moscadello is a sweet desert wine while Brunello di Montalcino, Rosso di Montalcino and Poggio alle Mura are complex very high quality reds with the capability aging of 10 to 30 years.
Montalcino has invested heavily developing its tourism business around the notoriety of its wines. Numerous hospitality structures exist including the “Agriturismo” my favorite way to lodge when staying in an area more than 2 days. The regional food is elaborate and hearty.
Pastasciutta con l'agnello (pasta with lamb)
Agnello con i piselli (lamb with pees)
Baccalà con i fagioli (dried fish with beans)
Cinghiale alla cacciatora (wild boar)
Frittata di porcini (omelet with porcini mushrooms)
Lepre in salmì (leper in Salmi)
Patate con il maiale (potatoes with pork)
Ranocchie in umido (frog in broth)
Rognone di vaccina in umido (mountain oysters in broth)
Salmì di uccelletti (baby quail marinated in wine sauce)
Dishes that easily balance the incredible wines produced locally. This vacation encompasses art, culture, breathtaking views, fantastic weather, incredible food and some of the best wines in the world. There are over 200 small vineyards, take the time to visit a few between visiting the castles, the beaches, the churches and the numerous activities celebrating folkloristic customs.
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