Last updated

Comune di Montepulciano
Panorama of Montepulciano
Coat of arms
Location of Montepulciano
Italy provincial location map 2016.svg
Red pog.svg
Location of Montepulciano in Italy
Italy Tuscany location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Montepulciano (Tuscany)
Coordinates: 43°06′N11°47′E / 43.100°N 11.783°E / 43.100; 11.783
Country Italy
Region Tuscany
Province Siena (SI)
Frazioni Abbadia, Acquaviva, Argiano, Ascianello, Cervognano, Fonte al Giunco, Gracciano, Montepulciano Stazione, Nottola, Salcheto, Sant'Albino, Tre Berte, Valiano
  MayorAndrea Rossi (PD)
  Total165.33 km2 (63.83 sq mi)
605 m (1,985 ft)
 (31 December 2017) [2]
  Density85/km2 (220/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Poliziani or Montepulcianesi
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code 0578
Patron saintSt. John the Baptist
Saint dayAugust 29
Website Official website

Montepulciano (Italian:  [ˌmontepulˈtʃaːno] ) is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and comune in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany. It sits high on a 605-metre (1,985 ft) limestone ridge, 13 kilometres (8 mi) east of Pienza, 70 kilometres (43 mi) southeast of Siena, 124 kilometres (77 mi) southeast of Florence, and 186 kilometres (116 mi) north of Rome by car.

Hill town

A hill town is any citadel town built upon hills to make invasion difficult. Often protected by defensive walls, steep embankments, or cliffs, such hilltop settlements provided natural defenses for their inhabitants.

<i>Comune</i> third-level administrative divisions of the Italian Republic

The comune is a basic administrative division in Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality.

Italy European country

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and surrounded by several islands. Italy is located in Southern Europe, and it is sometimes considered as part of Western Europe. The country covers a total area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.


Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Renowned for its pork, cheese, "pici" pasta, lentils, and honey, it is known worldwide for its wine. Connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile, which should not be confused with varietal wine made from the Montepulciano grape, among Italy's best.

Pici a thick, hand-rolled pasta

Pici is thick, hand-rolled pasta, like fat spaghetti. It originates in the province of Siena in Tuscany; in the Montalcino area they are also referred to as pinci.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a red wine with a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita status produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montepulciano, Italy. The wine is made primarily from the Sangiovese grape varietal, blended with Canaiolo Nero (10%–20%) and small amounts of other local varieties such as Mammolo. The wine is aged for 2 years ; three years if it is a riserva. The wine should not be confused with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, a red wine made from the Montepulciano grape in the Abruzzo region of east-central Italy.

Montepulciano (grape) grape variety

Montepulciano is a red Italian wine grape variety that is most noted for being the primary grape behind the Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) wine Offida Rosso, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Colline Teramane, Rosso Conero and the Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) wines Rosso Piceno Superiore.


According to legend, it was founded by the Etruscan King Lars Porsena of Chiusi; recent findings prove that a settlement was already in existence in the 4th-3rd centuries BC. In Roman times it was the seat of a garrison guarding the main roads of the area.

Etruscan civilization Pre-Roman civilization of ancient Italy

The Etruscan civilization is the modern name given to a civilization of ancient Italy in the area corresponding roughly to Tuscany, western Umbria, northern and central Lazio, with offshoots also to the north in the Po Valley, in the current Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy and southern Veneto, and to the south, in some areas of Campania.

Lars Porsena 6th century BC Etruscan king

Lars Porsena was an Etruscan king known for his war against the city of Rome. He ruled over the city of Clusium. There are no established dates for his rule, but Roman sources often place the war at around 508 BC.

Chiusi Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Chiusi is a town and comune in province of Siena, Tuscany, Italy.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it developed as a religious center under the Lombards. In the 12th century it was repeatedly attacked by the Republic of Siena, which the Poliziani faced with the help of the Perugia and Orvieto, and sometimes Florence, communes. The 14th century was characterized by constant struggles between the local noble families, until the Del Pecora family became rulers of the town. From 1390, Montepulciano was a loyal ally (and later possession [3] ) of Florence and, until the mid-16th century, lived a period of splendour with architects such as Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, Baldassarre Peruzzi, Ippolito Scalza and others, building luxurious residences and other edifices here. In 1559, when Siena was conquered by Florence and Montepulciano lost its strategic role, its importance declined.

Western Roman Empire Independently administered western provinces of the Roman Empire

In historiography, the Western Roman Empire refers to the western provinces of the Roman Empire at any time during which they were administered by a separate independent Imperial court; in particular, this term is used to describe the period from 395 to 476, where there were separate coequal courts dividing the governance of the empire in the Western and the Eastern provinces, with a distinct imperial succession in the separate courts. The terms Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire are modern descriptions that describe political entities that were de facto independent; contemporary Romans did not consider the Empire to have been split into two separate empires but viewed it as a single polity governed by two separate imperial courts as an administrative expediency. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in 476, and the Western imperial court was formally dissolved in 480. The Eastern imperial court survived until 1453.

Lombards Historical ethnical group

The Lombards or Longobards were a Germanic people who ruled most of the Italian Peninsula from 568 to 774.

Republic of Siena former republic on the Apennine Peninsula between 1125 and 1555

The Republic of Siena was a historic state consisting of the city of Siena and its surrounding territory in Tuscany, central Italy. It existed for over four hundred years, from 1125 to 1555. In the Italian War of 1551–59 the republic was defeated by the rival Duchy of Florence in alliance with the Spanish crown. After 18 months of resistance, the Republic of Siena surrendered to the Spanish Empire on 21 April 1555, marking the end of the republic.

After the unification of Italy and the drying of the Val di Chiana, the town remained the most important agricultural centre in the area, while the industrial activities moved mostly next to Chiusi, which was nearer to the railroad being built in that period.

The Val di Chiana, Valdichiana, or Chiana Valley is an alluvial valley of central Italy, lying on the territories of the provinces of Arezzo and Siena in Tuscany and the provinces of Perugia and Terni in Umbria.

A competitive "barrel race through the city" called the Bravio delle botti has been held on the last Sunday of August since the 14th Century.

The Bravio delle botti is an annual race held in the Italian town of Montepulciano since 1974, replacing an equivalent horserace dating back to 1373. Teams of two runners (spingitori) representing the eight districts of the town (contrade) compete to be the first to roll an 80 kg wine barrel through the streets of the historic centre from the Colonna del Marzocco to the finish on the Piazza Grande, the cathedral square. The total distance is approximately 1800m and is uphill for nearly the entire course. As the streets are narrow and the barrels cumbersome to manoeuvre, collisions are frequent.

Main sights

One of the restaurants among the shops on the main street of Montepulciano Restaurant in Montepulciano.jpg
One of the restaurants among the shops on the main street of Montepulciano

Since the Second World War, tourism has been a significant aspect in the economy of the urban part of the commune. Many of the streets are designated as car-free. Most of the shops and restaurants are on the main street, which stretches from Porta Al Prato to Piazza Grande [4] for 1.5 kilometres (0.9 mi).

The main landmarks include:

The walls of the city date to around the 14th century.


Twin towns—sister cities

Montepulciano is twinned with:

See also

Related Research Articles

Montalcino Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Montalcino is a hill town and comune in the province of Siena, Tuscany, central Italy. It is known for its Brunello di Montalcino wine.

Fiesole Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Fiesole is a town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Florence in the Italian region of Tuscany, on a scenic height above Florence, 5 km northeast of that city. Both Harvard University and Georgetown University have their centers of Italian Renaissance Studies domiciled in Fiesole. The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio is set in the slopes of Fiesole. The city was equally featured in the novels Peter Camenzind (1904) by Hermann Hesse, A Room with a View (1908) by E. M. Forster and Italian Hours (1909) by Henry James.

Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola Italian architect

GiacomoBarozzida Vignola, often simply called Vignola, was one of the great Italian architects of 16th century Mannerism. His two great masterpieces are the Villa Farnese at Caprarola and the Jesuits' Church of the Gesù in Rome. The three architects who spread the Italian Renaissance style throughout Western Europe are Vignola, Serlio and Palladio.

Antonio da Sangallo the Younger Italian architect

Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, also known as Antonio da San Gallo, was an Italian architect active during the Renaissance, mainly in Rome and the Papal States.

Vignola Comune in Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Vignola is a city and comune in the province of Modena (Emilia-Romagna), Italy.

Empoli Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Empoli is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Florence, Tuscany, Italy, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) southwest of Florence, to the south of the Arno in a plain formed by the river. The plain has been usable for agriculture since Roman times. The commune's territory becomes hilly as it departs from the river. Empoli is on the main railway line from Florence to Pisa, and is the point of divergence of a line to Siena. Empoli has an enduring tradition as an agricultural centre. It has given its name to a local variety of artichoke.

Bibbiena Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Bibbiena is a town and comune in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany (Italy), the largest town in the valley of Casentino. It is located 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Florence, 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Arezzo, 60 kilometres (37 mi) from Siena, and 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the Sanctuary of La Verna.

Michele Sanmicheli architect

Michele Sanmicheli (1484–1559), was a Venetian architect and urban planner of Mannerist-style, among the greatest of his era. A tireless worker, he was in charge of designing buildings and religious buildings of great value.

Giacomo della Porta Italian architect and sculptor

Giacomo della Porta (1532–1602) was an Italian architect and sculptor, who worked on many important buildings in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica. He was born at Porlezza, Lombardy and died in Rome.

Castiglione del Lago Comune in Umbria, Italy

Castiglione del Lago is a town in the province of Perugia of Umbria, on the southwest corner of Lake Trasimeno. Orvieto is 59 km (37 mi) south, Chiusi is 21 km (13 mi) to the south west, Arezzo is 56 km (35 mi) to the north west, Cortona is 21 km (13 mi) to the north and Perugia is 47 km (29 mi) to the south east.

Poggibonsi Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Poggibonsi is a town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, central Italy. It is located on the Elsa River and is the main centre of the Valdelsa Valley.

Foiano della Chiana Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Foiano della Chiana is a small agricultural town in eastern Tuscany, in the province of Arezzo, between the cities of Sinalunga and Cortona. It is well known for its annual carnival.

Ronciglione Comune in Lazio, Italy

Ronciglione is a city and comune in the province of Viterbo, Lazio, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Viterbo. The city is located in the Cimini mountains, over two tuff scarps, on the SE slope of the former volcano crater now housing the Lake Vico.

Chianciano Terme Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Chianciano Terme is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany, located about 90 kilometres (56 mi) southeast of Florence and about 50 kilometres (31 mi) southeast of Siena. It is located between the Valdichiana and the Val d'Orcia.

Oriolo Romano Comune in Latium, Italy

Oriolo Romano is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Viterbo in the Italian region Latium, located about 40 kilometres (25 mi) northwest of Rome and about 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Viterbo on a hilly area near the ancient Via Clodia.

Martino Longhi the Elder (1534–1591) was an Italian architect, the father of Onorio Longhi and the grandfather of Martino Longhi the Younger. He is also known as Martino Lunghi.

Santa Maria delle Carceri, Prato church building in Prato, Italy

Santa Maria delle Carceri is a basilica church, designed by Giuliano da Sangallo, and built in Prato, Tuscany, Italy. It among the earliest, examples of use of Greek cross plan for a complete church in Renaissance architecture.

SantAnna dei Palafrenieri parish church of Vatican City

The Church of Saint Anne in the Vatican, known as Sant'Anna de' Parafrenieri, is a Roman Catholic parish church dedicated to Saint Anne in Vatican City. The church is the parish church of the State of Vatican City and is placed under the jurisdiction of the Vicariate of the Vatican City and is located beside the Porta Sant'Anna, an international border crossing between Vatican City State and Italy.

San Biagio, Montepulciano church building in Montepulciano, Italy

San Biagio is a church outside Montepulciano, Tuscany, central Italy.

Church of Santa Maria Primerana Church in Tuscany, Italy

The Church of Santa Maria Primerana is a Roman Catholic church located in the Tuscan town of Fiesole. It encloses the eastern end of Piazza Mino, next to the Praetorian Palace.


  1. "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  2. "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  3. Haegen, Anne Mueller von der; Strasser, Ruth F. (2013). "Montepulciano". Art & Architecture: Tuscany. Potsdam: H.F.Ullmann Publishing. p. 402. ISBN   978-3-8480-0321-1.
  5. Wikisource-logo.svg Smith, Sydney Fenn (1907). "St. Robert Francis Romulus Bellarmine"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  6. Wikisource-logo.svg Fitzgerald, Edward Gregory (1907). "St. Agnes of Montepulciano"  . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia . 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  7. Orvieto, P. (2009). Poliziano e l'ambiente mediceo. Rome: Salerno. ISBN   88-8402-650-4.
  8. Nativel, C. (1997). Centuriae latinae: cent une figures humanistes de la Renaissance aux Lumières offertes à Jacques Chomarat. Geneva: Librairie Droz. pp. 623–628. ISBN   2-600-00222-7.
  9. Leuker, T. (1997). Angelo Poliziano, Dichter, Redner, Stratege: eine Analyse der "Fabula di Orpheo" und ausgewählter lateinischer Werke des Florentiner Humanisten. Stuttgart: De Gruyter. pp. 1–7. ISBN   3-11-096840-1.