Montepulciano is a beautiful Tuscan town, with a long history and wonderful landscapes to admire. Besides the classic tour of the historic center including tastings of “Vino Nobile”, visits to wineries, historic buildings, and great events in the summer season, today we want to share with you a journey to discover the hamlets of Montepulciano.
Nature, history, culture, music, wine and typical products: all these aspects make Montepulciano famous internationally, but also outside the historic center you can find places of interest, hidden treasures and unforgettable experiences. The following is a selection of four places outside the historic center, through the villages and the hamlets around Montepulciano.
1) Thermal Baths of Montepulciano
We start from the village of S. Albino, along the road that connects Chianciano to Montepulciano. The “Terme di Montepulciano” are thermal baths that benefits from the therapeutic properties of the sulphurous waters, useful for healing and rehabilitation. There is also a Spa that will delight all those who want to take care of both body and mind, through many massages, saunas and relaxation treatments.
2) Madonna delle Querce
Continuing our path towards the village of Acquaviva, you come to the Shrine of “Madonna delle Querce”. This shrine date back to 1699, in which miraculous events linked to the worship of an image of the Madonna and Child, placed in the hollow of an ancient oak. The sanctuary has been a place of pilgrimage and popular devotion, located in the land that belonged to the Jesuit College of Montepulciano. The sanctuary is a perfect example of the rural culture and the popular folklore that lived and survived in our campaigns.
3) Montepulciano Lake
From the village of Acquaviva we follow the road passing through the hamlets of Salcheto and Tre Berte, taking the direction of Montepulciano Lake. One of the major lakes in the area, what remains of the swamp of the Valdichiana, is part of a nature reserve since 1996. In this area you can have birdwatching, boat trips, walks along the “Sentiero della Bonifica”. Inside the Visitor Center “La Casetta” you can find educational materials and information, in addition to the museum that collects historical artifacts of the ancient fishing area.
4) Castle Valiano
From the lake we continue towards Cortona, coming to the smaller village and far from the center of Montepulciano. The village of Valiano worth a stop in our itinerary because it was a feudal castle of great importance during the Middle Ages, which served as an outpost in the marshy areas of the Valdichiana. From Valiano you can still see one of the towers and the keep with the bell tower of the medieval castle; and from the top of this small village, the view sweeps between the beautiful landscapes of the Valdichiana, shaped by generations of sharecroppers in the grand-ducal farms.
This is just one tour outside the historic center of Montepulciano: feel free to suggest your path or your experiences!
(Cover photo by Ferdinand Mainò)