Hello! I was contacted directly by another forum member asking for my thoughts and suggestions on Montepulciano in southern Tuscany. As a little background, we have been travelling to Montepulciano at least once a year (sometimes more) since 2013/14. It has become one of our favorite places in Italy to visit because although it is a hilltop town, there is a lot to be discovered here. Montepulciano is larger than Pienza, but smaller than Siena. Although there are a decent amount of tourist who travel to Montepulciano, it has been able to hold on to its authentic roots. You can feel the authenticity this town represents as it is on the verge of being discovered as a destination.
The part of Tuscany where Montepulciano is located is what you see when your eyes are closed and someone says “Tuscany”. This is the place of red poppy fields in the spring that are replaced by yellow sunflowers in summer. There are the rolling hills and cypress lined roads that almost look like Hollywood created a set for a movie. Speaking of, this is the area where movies where filmed that include “Under the Tuscan Sun”, “Twilight”, The English Patient”, “300”, “Medici” (Netflix series), and so many more.
We have visited almost every month of the year, and there is always some event or festival to enjoy. In July, there is an international arts/music festival, in August, there is the Bravio – the famous barrel race, and from mid-November through the beginning of January, there is an AMAZING Christmas Market.
Montepulciano also makes a great home base to explore Tuscany and Umbria. Within 1.5 hours or less, you can visit Florence, Siena, Cortona, Pienza, Montalcino, Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi, Deruta, Orvieto, plus many other smaller hilltop towns. It’s even possible to visit the sea in under 2 hours.
Here are my suggestions for accommodations, restaurants, and wineries to visit if you are planning a trip to Montepulciano. These are places that we have discovered and been going to for years:
• Fonte Martino (https://www.fontemartino.com/) – This is our number one place to stay. It is owned by 2 super nice and welcoming Americans and opened last year after an extensive renovation. These two did it right and created a little piece of paradise. They are just outside of the city center of Montepulciano, but only about a 5 minute drive. The rooms are spacious, modern, clean, and full of little perks like complimentary bottle of wine, in-wall USB chargers, and even an Amazon Alexa. The suites come with under floor heating in the cooler months, excellent AC for the warmer months, and there is even a fireplace in each suite for romantic evenings. In the summer, they grow most of the produce they serve during their amazing breakfasts. This is now our place to stay when we visit.
• Charming Homes (https://www.charminghomemontepulciano.com/) – This was where we would stay before finding Fonte Martino. The owner is from Argentina and is also really nice. These are apartments located in town. Very clean, whimsically decorated, and spacious. The only negative is that you need to park in the public parking lots and walk to the apartments. This is not usually an issue, but can be cumbersome if you have a lot of luggage.
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