Saturday, March 17, 2018

Montepulciano Stopover

In preparation for the upcoming bad weather, we decided to stop in Montepulciano en route rather than coming back on a daytrip.  Built during the Renaissance, Montepulciano seems so young, compared to everywhere we have been lately.  There were quite a few tourists in town, considering its relative lack of history and sites, undoubtedly for the wine fame, specifically Vino Nobile.  Since  the valley is not covered in vineyards, I suspect the more common Montepulciano red is made with shipped grapes and even grape juice.  Nevertheless, it is good for the local economy.

[Traveler's Tips:Rick Steve's detailed directions (as reported in RS Italy 2018) for how to get from the Montepulciano bus station to the TI were soooo helpful - thanks Rick! And the TI kindly held our big bags for us - thanks again Rick. Also note that as of 14 March 2018 the CONAD market near the bus station was closed for renovation.]

We left Orvieto on the Florence-bound train, arriving in the very busy Chiusi-Chianciano Terme train station in about 30 minutes, switching to a bus for Montepulciano. Soon we were passing through the resort town of Chianciano Terme where the hotel density was the highest we've ever seen. Really. Highest ever. It's a popular spa town and in 3 minutes we had passed over 100 hotels in our estimation - guidebooks says it's 200+. Wow!
Passing through on the bus - Chianciano Terme, Italy

Our first full view of Montepulciano after leaving the bus station, taking 2 elevators, and dropping our bags at the very kind Tourist Information office.
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Parrocchia Sant'Agnese Convento Santuario
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

More churches.
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

The Duomo interior.
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Piazza.
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

View.
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

City Tour completed and with a couple hours to kill before our onward bus, we decided to head downhill to San Biagio and walk around the base of the hilltown. And also stop at the EuroSpin for provisions since the CONAD was closed.
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

And back up top, we took one more stroll around town, enjoying the views, and soaking up hilltown atmosphere.
Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy

Montepulciano, Tuscany, Italy


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