Must-sees out of the historical center of Montepulciano
27 November 2018
Even though Montepulciano is renowned for its beauty, wine productions and historical events dating back to the Middle Ages, the villages that surround Montepulciano are just as rich and shall be included too within a travel itinerary to discover the wonders of Italy.
Starting your journey from ValianoOn the halfway between the enchanting lake Trasimeno, in the nearby Umbria, and the city of Montepulciano, the ancient village of Valiano, 330 meters above the sea level, has a thousand-year history that still lives in its historical centre with typically medieval features.
Among the green hills cultivated with rows of Vino Nobile, it offers the opportunity to visit the castle built in 1100 and which had been, due to its strategic position in medieval times, disputed and then dominated by the nearby feudal cities of Perugia, Siena, Florence and Montepulciano to which Valiano was then annexed in 1774. Do not miss the church of San Lorenzo Martire which preserves the relics of the patron saint and many works of art.
The hamlets of MontepulcianoFurther, on this itinerary along the streets of Vino Nobile, we come by the different hamlets that characterize this area, including Montepulciano Stazione, called, until 1925, Fontago, a name that today designates one of its districts. From here, you can move towards the places of the greatest historical and gastronomic interest in the Montepulciano area.
Going north, Abbadia, formerly badia de ‚Caggiolari or badia Crepaldo, a name coming from the Abbey of San Pietro that once stood here and of which today remains a homonymous church. This village overlooking the Val di Chiana has also grown thanks to a branch of the via Laurentina that still runs through it.
Just a few kilometres away from Montepulciano, Gracciano has its origins going back in time. Indeed, it was mentioned for the first time in a document dated 775 kept in the archives of the Abbey of S. Salvatore al Monte Amiata and then in a document of 862. It also seems that from this town derives the name of the Porta di Gracciano, dating back to 1300 and renovated by Sangallo in the 1500s, in the walls of Montepulciano.
What to see in Acquaviva and Sant’AlbinoOn our way, we arrive to Acquaviva, which was already habited in Roman times, as evidenced by a recent archaeological discovery, even though it was only in 803 that this city, today a hamlet of Montepulciano, was mentioned for the first time in a document signed in the church, now disappeared, of San Vittorino de Acquaviva. Take a look also to the calendar of the performances at the Teatro della Società dei Concordi: born in 1908 to heighten culture and popular theatre, this space in Art Nouveau style still helps safeguard historical, cultural and social values and traditions, bringing even international artists and young talents to meet in the annual event Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, born in Acquaviva in 1976.
Finally, it is worth visiting Sant’Albino, a small village in the Maddalena mountains known since ancient times for its sulphurous water mentioned in the Seventeenth Century by the scientist Leonardo Di Capua and, in the Nineteenth Century, by Tagioni Tozzetti in his work dedicated to the waters of this area. Today, thanks to its therapeutic properties, this water is used in the nearby Terme di Montepulciano.