Montalcino and the surrounding area

Montalcino is 40 km south of Siena and is bordered by the Orcia, Asso and Ombrone valleys, giving it an almost circular shape with a 16km diameter and surface of some 24,000 hectares.   
Montalcino boasts a typically Mediterranean climate with rainfall occurring mostly in the Spring and late Fall (for some 700mm annually). Winter often brings snowfall to areas that sit above 400 m.
 
The landscape is rich with woods and the magnificent vineyards that grow the grapes with which the most famous wine in the world, Brunello di Montalcino, and other excellent wines such as Rosso di Montalcino, are made.
 
Montalcino sits at 564 m above sea level and boasts magnificent views that go from the Tuscan seashore to the mountains.  The town offers visitors lovely Roman Gothic architecture.
Many of these buildings are of particular artistic interest, among them: the Palazzo Comunale (or City Hall) which resembles the style of the city hall in Siena – and in fact it was the seat of the Republic of Siena when Siena was occupied by the Empire; the Sant’Antimo monastery; and  various museums: the Diocesan Museum with paintings and coloured wooden statues  dating to the 16th century; the Civic Museum with its collection of Della Robbia ceramics and several fine frescoes from the Sienese school.   There is also an archaeological museum with prehistoric and Etruscan artifacts, and a fortress with a pentagonal plan and bastions topped by towers built by the Sienese in the 1300s. 
 
Every last Sunday in October Montalcino celebrates the Sagra del Tordo and on the second Sunday of August there is the very picturesque Torneo di Apertura delle Cacce featuring a procession of the inhabitants of the various contradas all dressed in medieval costume on their way to the archery championship that crowns the day.   
 
The Abbazia (abbey) of Sant’Antimo, an imposing example of Romanesque art,  is just a few kilometers from Montalcino.  Legend has it that the Abbey was built over an ancient votive chapel  erected there at the behest of Charlemagne in 781, even though it was actually constructed between 1000 and 1118. 
 
The Montalcino area is part of the Val d’Orcia Artistic, Natural and Cultural Park which in 2005 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the beauty of its landscape. 
 
Just 40 km to the North is Siena, a city unique for its homogenous urban architecture and planning, an incomparable example of Italian landscape. 
It is known the world over for its magnificent historical centre, which in 1995 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The main site to visit here is the Piazza del Campo where the renowned and traditional Palio of Siena is held. 
 
Another place that merits a visit is Bagno Vignoni, some 25 km outside of Montalcino.  Apart from its thermal spas, it is the ancient and completely unaltered structure of this village’s main square that is so amazing  - a vast shallow rectangular pool of 52°C water. 
 
Other famous places to visit and explore in the area are, of course, Florence, Roselle,  the Argentario penisula, Castiglione della Pescaia, the Parco dell'Uccellina, Petriolo thermal baths, Mount Amiata, Pienza and Montepulciano

Welcome to the Antica Grancia di Quercecchio

... where the history of the ancient villages of the Val d’Orcia,

the remains of the ages-old via Francigena, art,

culture and nature all await you.

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