Tuscany in all its splendour: the perfect combination of art and tradition.

Montepulciano is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting towns in all of Tuscany, rich in history, art and culture – a real jewel in the Tuscan countryside.

With its historical and artistic treasures, its amazing local culinary traditions and its lively cultural and social fabric, Montepulciano is a synthesis of Tuscany’s cultural heritage. The city is surrounded by the ancient Medici walls that symbolically protect the old town – enter through one of the seven ancient gates to begin exploring Montepulciano’s historic centre.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo)

This is the largest church in Montepulciano, located in the main square. It is elegant, beautiful and unfinished! It is used as the backdrop to many of the cultural events which occur throughout the year in Montepulciano. If you would like a few minutes of quiet reflection or just a place to sit down after walking all over the historic centre then this is an ideal place.

Here is the technical description of the Cathedral of Montepulciano. The Duomo, designed by architect Ippolito Scalza of Orvieto, was built between 1586 and 1680 over the ruins of the ancient local sanctuary of Santa Maria (of which the travertine marble and brick bell tower, dating back to 1400 are still visible today). Both the bell tower and the façade remain unfinished to this day, while the sides of the building are finely covered with bricks and travertine ashlars and arches.

Inside, the architectural layout, based on the classic model of a Latin cross, is austere and majestic: there are three naves with large marble columns, arches and barrel vaults.

In addition to the intrinsic elegance of the building itself, the interior boasts a large number of artworks, including some of the most important works of the cultural heritage of Montepulciano: the fifteenth-century Aragazzi cenotaph, built by Michelozzo, is divided into fragments that are displayed on the Cathedral’s walls; The Triptych of the Assumption, painted by Taddeo di Bartolo in 1401, is situated above the main altar and the so-called Altar of the Lilies, a work in glass-colored terracotta by Andrea Della Robbia.

The Temple of San Biagio

Simply stunning. San Biagio is located outside Montepulciano. Every time we pass it (which is almost every day) we wonder how something so beautiful could have been finished in 1580. The stone changes color throughout the day and with the seasons. There is an audio tour available -ideal for architecture buffs –  and you must stand in the centre and clap to hear the echo (don’t worry this is allowed!). It is possible to walk from San Biagio up into the histroic centre or there is a tourist bus.

And here is the historic and technical description. This late Renaissance temple was built on the foundations of an ancient Paleo-Christian sanctuary originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary and then to St. Blaise. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the ancient sanctuary was in ruins, including the fresco of the Madonna and Child with St. Francis, attributed to a Sienese painter from the fourteenth century which in 1518 was alleged to have miraculous powers. The Poliziano family decided to build a new church here, entrusting the task to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder. The architect’s ambitious project included a new imposing building that was supported by Pope Leo X, who had been educated in classical letters by Agnolo Poliziano, a humanist poet from Montepulciano. The temple was finished in 1580 and after the death Antonio da Sangallo, the works were directed by other architects.

The architectural layout of the temple is based on a Greek cross with a central dome supported by a drum. Opposite the entrance there is a semicircular apse. The sides of the building share the same pattern repetition as the main façade. The façade is decorated with additional ornamentation and is divided into two parts by the frieze, triglyphs and metopes which run along the entire perimeter of the temple. On the lower part, the main entrance shows an engraving of the temple’s year of foundation; on the upper part the central window is framed by five rectangular panels. On the same level stands a large triangular pediment which gives vertical momentum to the building. The façade is flanked on the left side by a tall bell tower with several densely decorated levels and a top pyramidal cusp. The original project involved the building of two symmetrical bell towers, of which only one was completed.


The bright Piazza Grande, a large Renaissance square, is the artistic, civic and religious centre of Montepulciano. It overlooks the Cathedral (Duomo), the Townhall (Palazzo Comunale) and some of the town’s main palazzi and historic noble buildings. There is also a Torture Museum (!) and ancient wine cellars nearby. This is the heart of Montepluciano where many cultural events are hosted throughout the year. You have to visit la Piazza Grande.

With its stone bulk, the battlements and the tower in the center of the building, The Palazzo Comunale resembles the Florentine Palazzo della Signoria. Among the other historic buildings overlooking the square are Palazzo de ‘Nobili-Tarugi, characterized by a large loggia and a skillfully decorated façade, Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and a beautiful well (Pozzo de’ Grifi e de’ Leoni) bearing the Medici coat of arms supported by two lions (the symbol of Florence) standing next to two griffins (the symbol of the city of Montepulciano).