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blogs :

I am going for a week long stay in Montalcino (Tuscany) in September. Can anyone tell me what it is like there and what things there are to do? Thanks for all answers.

desertmoonwoman :
"If you go to they have 808 comments about Montelcino! Between eating and drinking what more could you want!"
Genius Cook :
"I've been there.... and unfortunately am not a big red wine drinker for I would have told you / given you all of my impressions. The food is great and it takes a good wine to match it so there you go. Eat and drink well in Montalcino (and in the rest of Tuscany - the BEEF!!!!) and enjoy."
conley39 :
"Montalcino is a small hill town. there are some interesting medieval buildings and a good castle there. You can get out hiking or biking. Good day trips would be to Siena, Firenze, Pienza or San Gimignano is worth a visit. In September, there will be fewer tourists. The Giostra in Arezzo is an interesting spectacle in Renaissance dress if you're in Tuscany on the 2nd."
love2travel :
"Here's what we wrote in our travelogue about our visit to Montalcino: "Montalcino is west of Pienza and San Querico D'Orcia and Bagno Vignoni are just south. All three were our destinations for our last day in Tuscany. "Montalcino is 1845 ft. above sea level on top of a hill (what else?) that dominates the valleys of Orcia, Arbia and Ombrone. The town is linked to the fame of the prestigious red wine Brunello di Montalcino. It is surrounded by a wall through which there are six gates and the remains of nineteen towers. Our first stop was the powerful Rocca (fortress) built in the second half of the fourteenth century, which remains in excellent condition. Besides splendid panoramas, a walk through the town was a great tour of medieval buildings like the old town hall in Piazza del Popolo with its high tower, the monumental open galleries and Gothic arcades and the cathedral in neoclassic style built on a parish church of the year 1000. It was Sunday and families and young people were out in force enjoying the fine day. "While walking past via Ricasoli 32, on the way into town from the fortress, we glanced down to see a busy clean kitchen, a level below the street, at the rear door of Osteria di Porta al Cassero, via della Libertá 9, Tel. 0577 847196. As this was our last day to feast on Tuscan delights, we hoped it would be a good choice. The nose and eyes did not fail. This tiny, plain osteria with an outdoor patio for good weather, turned out to be a gem. We were lucky to get the last, unreserved, table and saw people who arrived after us turned away. The owner is on duty all the time to meet and greet and make sure all is going well. The sweet waitress advised us that the portions were large and to take that into account in our ordering. We both started with fresh mushroom soup, a funghi lovers dream. The next course kept us on cloud nine; scottiglia di cinghiale con fagioli all'uccelletta (wild boar stew with white beans) was triple T - tasty, tender, terrific! A side of grilled vegetables and the superb local red wine rounded off the meal - almost. The waitress told us that the tiramisu was not to be missed (we rarely order this ubiquitous dessert) and since her advice had been perfect until now, we (mistakenly) shared one portion. Our fondest Tuscan dreams came true; this rendition of tiramisu is not to be missed.""
who knows :
"I spent three weeks in a house a few miles from Montalcino about a year ago. It was probably the best three weeks of my life. As for what to do there, its a smaller city with not a lot to do. The food in the restaurants is great so definitely eat there when possible. The best restuarant I found for a more expensive night out was Grappolo Blue. Ask for Lucianno, the owner. As for lunches, I would try somewhere different each opportunity. If you wish to buy wine. Enoteca Osticcio was my favorite place. Try a tasting there. The view alone is worth it. Tullio and Francesca are very pleasant. I believe Brunello is an incredible wine. And the 2001 Brunello riservas are just now coming out. Try as much as you can financially justify. If you like to walk, there are paths or trails around that go as far as you want. There is an old Abbey. Sant Antimo that you should go visit. If you look up on the ridge line above there you will see Poggio di Sopra. (That is where I stayed). But it is still active so they do have services there. All around the area are vinyards, some with tours. Do one. I would suggest contacting Terralsole. I met Mario and Athena Bollag (oddly, about three miles from my house and about 4000 from theirs). He is very serious about his wine. I don't know if they have any tours, but they do a lot with art and music so you might luck into a very interesting day. I would check with them before you go to schedule something. From Montalcino, Siena, Orvieto, Civita, are in range to visit. And by all means go to Florence. But get an early start. I don't know how you are going to get around. There is no train in Montalcino. But you can drive to Siena and take a train to Florence. I think Siena is a separate day, but you might combine it with another city in that area. Orvieto and Civita are the other direction, but you can do both in a day if you hurry. There is an old Roman Bath fairly nearby, I can't remeber the name. Its Bagno Vigno or something like that. And Montalpuciano is another great city nearby. If you are there on a Friday, I think thats market day. Vendors come from all around with everything you can imagine. Its a little like a mobile flea market. Its a good time to buy any souvineers you want. I was there with eight friends. We bought food from the vendors and found a great spot outside of town for a picnic. If you ask any of those people whats the best meal they have had in their lives, they all pick that one. It was just a special thing. I know this may not answer your question about what to do. But if you think about what Tuscany is famous for: food wine, beautiful countryside, and really nice people, it explains why these are the things I chose to suggest."
blogs :

We are travelling to Montalcino in Tuscany in a few months and need to know how to get there from London? We think flying into Pisa is the best airport but from there how do we get to Montalcino?

raylie :
"Montalcino is just south of Siena, about 25 miles. It may have a small regional airport. However Florence (Firenze) is a large city and is usually the starting/ending point for many visitors heading to Tuscany. It would probably be your best option to fly into as it is closer than Pisa. Florence to Montalcino is about 85 miles of driving. Pisa to Montalcino is about 125 miles. Also Florence is a larger airport than Pisa so more airline choices. Hope that helps. I was looking at British Airways and it appears that they have a direct flight into Pisa but not into Florence. So maybe Pisa is your best bet."
curious :

I have a recipe that calls for Brunello or Rosso di Montalcino wine, but couldn't find it. I have Shiraz, Port, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvingon. Which would make the best substitute? Thanks!

elliott :
"In terms of flavour the Merlot would be closest but in reality any of your table wines (ie not the port) would be fine."
Lisa H :
"i would probably use the merlot first then maybe the cab sauv depending on what cab it is."
elvotney :
"Try the cab or the merlot as they will be closest in terms of flavor profile and body to the Brunello. Avoid the port. It is too full-bodied and high in alcohol and would likely overpower any dish you make."


Comments on Montalcino

Date: 2008-02-05 16:40:34

The best producers of Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Date: 2008-02-05 16:40:34

Bike rides, Buonconvento, Bibbiano, Montalcino

Date: 2008-02-05 16:40:34

Bike rides, Montalcino, Abbazia di Sant' Antimo, Montalcino

Date: 2008-02-05 16:40:34

Bike rides, Montalcino, Torrenieri, San Quirco d'Orcia, Bagno Vignoni

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