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Montepulciano


Montepulciano, is built along a narrow limestone ridge and, at 605 m (1,950 ft) above sea level. The town is encircled by walls and fortifications designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder in 1511 for Cosimo I. Inside the walls the streets are crammed with Renaissance-style palazzi and churches, but the town is chiefly known for its good local Vino Nobile wines. a long, winding street called the Corso climbs up into the main square, which crowns the summit of the hill.

In July-August there is Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte, an arts festival created by the German composer Hans Werner Henze. In August there are two festivals: the Bruscello takes place on the 14th, 15th and 16th, when hordes of actors reenact scenes from the town's turbulent history. For the Bravio delle Botti, on the last Sunday in August, there is a parade through the streets followed by a barrel race and a banquet to end the day.
   
   
   
Madonna di San Biagio
Via di San Biagio, 14 - Open daily

This beautiful church is on the outskirts of Montepulciano. Built of honey - and cream - colored travertine, it is Sangallo's masterpiece, a Renaissance gem begun in 1518. The project occupied him until his daeth in 1534.
   
   

Palazzo Bucelli
Corso, 73 - Closed

The lower fašade of the palazzo (1648) is studded with ancient Etruscan reliefs and funerary urns collected by its 18th-century antiquarian owner, Pietro Bucelli.

   
   

Sant'Agostino
Piazza Michelozzo - Open daily

Michelozzo built the church in 1427, with an elaborate carved portal featuring the Virgin and child flanked by St. John and St. Augustine.

   
   
Palazzo Comunale
Piazza Grande, 1 - Open Monday - Saturday

In the 15th century, Michelozzo added a tower and fašade to the original Gothic town hall. The building is now a smaller version of the Palazzo Vecchio. On a clean day, the views that can be seen from the tower are superb.
   
   
Palazzo Tarugi
Piazza Grande - Closed.

The imposing 16th-century palazzo is next to the town hall and is currently undergoing restoration to the fašade.
 
   
   
Duomo
Piazza Grande - Open daily

The Duomo was designed between 1592 and 1630 by Ippolito Scalza. The fašade is unfinished and plain, but the interior is Classical in proportions. It is the setting for an earlier masterpiece from the Siena School, the "Assumption of the Virgin" triptych painted by Taddeo di Bartolo in 1401.
   
   
 




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