Montepulciano (SI)

Montepulciano,built along a narrow limestone ridge at 605 m.a.s.l. (1,950 ft), is encircled by walls and fortifications designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in 1511 for Cosimo I. The town is chiefly known for its Renaissance-style palaces and churches andfor its good local Vino Nobile wines.

A long street called the Corso climbs up into the main square with its:

  • The Duomo, designed between 1592 and 1630 by Ippolito Scalza. The façade is unfinished and plain, but the interior is Classical in proportions. It is the setting for an earlier masterpiece from the Siena School, the "Assumption of the Virgin" triptych painted by Taddeo di Bartolo in 1401.
  • The Palazzo Comunale, a smaller version of the Palazzo Vecchio, derive from the original Gothic town hall adapted, in the 15th century, by Michelozzo with the adding of a tower and façade to
  • Next to the town hall is the imposing 16th-century Palazzo Tarugi.

All along the Corso there’s the Palazzo Bucelli (1648) with a characteristic lower façadestudded with ancient Etruscan reliefs and funerary urns collected by its 18th-century antiquarian owner, Pietro Bucelli.

The church of Sant'Agostino, built in 1427 by Michelozzo, with an elaborate carved portal featuring the Virgin and child flanked by St. John and St. Augustine.

On the outskirts of Montepulciano, in south direction, there’s the beautiful church of Madonna di San Biagio, built of honey - and cream - colored travertine. This masterpiece, a Renaissance gem begun in 1518, occupied Sangallo until his death in 1534.

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Madonna di San Biagio
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Val d'Orcia

Montepulciano reserve

With its great wealth of wildlife, the LIPU Oasis at Montepulciano Lake is like a precious gem glistening in the midst of the splendid Sienese countryside, just where Tuscany and Umbria meet. The lake itself is relatively shallow, about one kilometre wide and surrounded by a magnificent 750 acre humid zone. The thick vegetation of this latter provides cover far hundreds of animal and plant species. The Oasis is thus a splendid example of an inland humid zone whose naturalistic value has been preserved intact: open waters, shallow waters with thick underwater vegetation, extensive cane thickets with occasional patches of sedge, reed and bulrush, willow glades and humid meadows. The most widespread species among the flora is the lacustrine cane, which occupies three quarters of the overall area, the remaining 250 acres consisting of open water. Near the area where the water is deeper, there is a stretch of lake covered with the leaves of water-lilies. Thick with myriaphyll and ceratophyll, the waters also conceal quantities of bladderwort, a carnivorous plani that captures minute underwater crustaceans. The shallower waters are warmed and suffused wilh sunlight, thus giving rise to frequentl patches of Lemna minor whose tiny leaves create a magnificent emerald green carpet on the water surface. Certain relatively rare species are to be found in the humid areas beside the lake, near the hydric woods: the Ophioglossum vulgatum fem, for instance, and the beautiful Orchis laxiflora orchid.


  • For other information you can telephone to the numbers 0039-0578-767518 and 0039-347-7296194.
  • Internet site:
  • Opening hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 9am-1pm and 3pm-7pm.