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Montepulciano, a town and commune in the province of Sienain southern Tuscany, (Italy), is a medieval and renaissance hill town of exceptional beauty. Montepulciano, with an elevation of 605 m (around 2000 ft), sits on a high limestone ridge. By car it is 13 km (8 miles) E of Pienza; 67 km (40 miles) SE of Siena; 124 km (74 miles) SE of Florence; 186 km (115 miles) N of Rome.

Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Wine connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (read more about Vino Nobile here) among Italy's best. Montepulciano is also known for its pork, cheese, "pici" pasta (a thick, rough, chewy variant on spaghetti), lentils, and honey.

Main sights

The main street of Montepulciano stretches for 11.5 kilometers from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza Grande at the top of the hill. The main landmarks include:

  • The Communal Palace
  • Palazzo Tarugi
  • The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (late 16th century). It has a simple Mannerist façade with a three-arcade portico. The interior has a single nave, and houses a precious terracotta altar by Andrea della Robbia.
  • The Sanctuary of the Madonna of St. Blaise, on the road to Chianciano outside the city. It is a typical 16th century Tuscan edifice, designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger on a pre-existing Pieve, between 1518 and 1545. It has a circular (central) plan with a large dome over a terrace and a squared tambour. The exterior, with two bell towers, is built in white travertine.

The walls of the city were designed and built under the direction of Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici in 1511 by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder

Famous citizens

  • Roberto Bellarmino, a Roman Catholic Saint, Cardinal, and Doctor of the Church was born here on October 4, 1542. He is one of the 33 Doctors of the Roman Catholic Church and was active in the Counter-Reformation.
  • Agnes of Montepulciano, a Roman Catholic Saint.
  • The Florentine classical scholar and poet, as well as one of the revivers of Humanist Latin, Angelo Poliziano was born in Montepulciano on July 14, 1454.

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