As the highest of Tuscany’s “hill towns,” Montepulciano, with its car-free, winding streets, encapsulates the long-standing history and culture of central Italy at its finest. Montepulciano offers the same abundance of wineries endemic to the region, and the surrounding Vino Nobile vineyards heighten the town’s pull for wine connoisseurs and oenology students alike.
One of the town’s—and region’s—best dining experiences is at La Grotta. Housed in a gorgeous 16th-century building with a garden, La Grotta offers an exciting mélange of traditional Tuscan flavors with a contemporary kick. Acquacheta (Via del Teatro 22; (39) 0578-717086), an intimate restaurant that serves slabs of beef, is a great spot for meat lovers. The beef is cooked one way—their way—but will not disappoint.
One of the few brands who still do their production in Italy is Maledetti Toscani, a maker of leather goods, with roots dating back to the 1800s. This family-run business offers shoes, bags, jackets and accessories for men and women, just as they have done since the 1800s.
Fatamorgana stocks unique, well-made shoes and clothing as well as jewelry handmade by the owner in an elegant, whimsical shop.
Outside of the walled city sits the 14th-century Church of Sant’Agnese, a Gothic-style nave housing beautiful frescos. The town boasts beautiful palazzos and quaint streets that lead to its highest points and main square, Piazza Grande. The Palazzo Communale (town hall) has grand towers that provide a sweeping view of the city.
The Bottega del Rame (Via dell'Opio Nel Corso 64; (39) 0578 758753) is an artisan workshop that welcomes visitors to come and watch the centuries-old technique of copper beating, a family tradition passed down through generations. A range of their products, including pots, pans and baking trays, are sold on site.
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