In 2009 I left for Italy for a new start in my life. Before I emigrated to Italy I already knew many places in Tuscany: Pisa, Florence, Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena.. but not Montepulciano.
The South of Tuscany has always been an unknown area for me. I had never even heard of the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
But with the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano my passion for wine began, and that will aways remain so.
Since last year I have been living in a wonderful apartment in Montepulciano from where I have a beautiful view over the Vino Nobile vineyards. And at only 10 minutes walking distance from the Piazza Grande.
Montepulciano has a long wine history. It is a medieval, Renaissance-style village with prestigious buildings and beautiful monuments.
Montepulciano is situated on a hill. The inhabitants are called “Poliziani” and the population is around 15.000.
In addition to my job in the tourism sector I am, as a certified sommelier, working together with several wineries in Tuscany and Veneto.
In my free time I like to run and get fit. Running along the vineyards is what I like to do most.
I’ve run wonderful marathons over the last few years. But there’s still one race missing on my list: the Wine Barrel Race in Montepulciano “Bravio delle Botti”.
I have made many new friends and I have discovered amazing places. I would love to show you around “My Montepulciano”, exploring the town like a local.
Venite con me?
Caffe Poliziano dates back to 1868 and is the oldest caffè in Montepulciano. This elegant caffè is decorated in Art-Nouveau style with beautiful antique furniture, mirrors and art deco glass. Caffè Poliziano is a good place for a cappuccino, a dolce or a glass of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wine.
You can also dine in the restaurant of Poliziano. The restaurant is next to the caffè. For me personally Caffè Poliziano is the place to be for an espresso. Outside the terrace you can admire the panoramic view over the Valdichiana and Lake Trasimeno.
Caffè Poliziano is a popular place among the local residents, usually having their favorite coffee at the bar. Of course you can also order your drinks sitting at the table, but be aware that you’ll need to pay more. Drinking your coffee standing at the bar is typically Italian!
The glass showcase presents a wide variety of delicious desserts and pastries behind the vitrine are beautiful and delicious. Caffè Poliziano is certainly one of the best pastry shops in Montepulciano.
For a truly Bistecca experience in Montepulciano I recommend Osteria Acquacheta. On the menu you will find a mix of antipasti, pasta- and main dishes. This osteria is a nice place if you’re looking for a traditional Bistecca alla Fiorentina in the centre of Montepulciano.
Osteria Acquacheta is not a big restaurant. Reservation in advance is necessary. Please note: always contact them via phone, they don’t respond to email.
In the restaurant you can have lunch and dinner. Osteria Acquacheta is a great restaurant to spend the evening together in an intimate atmosphere. The restaurant owner is an icon in Montepulciano. You will notice right away!
As soon as you have ordered the Bistecca, for minimum two persons, he brings the thick steak to show for your approval and tells you the weight of the meat. Then he will ask you how you like your steak prepared: rare, medium or well done.
You can order vegetables as a side dish with your steak but unfortunately they don’t have roasted potatoes. The meat is of a high quality and tastes even better when you sprinkle a few drops of extra vergine olive oil over it.
The house wine they serve is a Tuscan IGT wine. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is on the wine list but only available per bottle.
You can make a dinner reservation at Osteria Acquachesta for 7:30 PM or 9:30 PM. If you already know that you’ll visit Montepulciano shortly and you want to enjoy this unforgettable experience, I advise you to make a reservation before traveling to Montepulciano.
Osteria del Conte
At Osteria del Conte you can eat the best pasta dish “i pici”. Also the main courses and desserts are outstanding. I would not order the antipasti misto but the pasta is highly recommended!
The pasta “i pici” originated the Valdichiana valley. The ingredients are wheat flour, water and salt. One of my favourite pasta dishes is with “Aglione” sauce. Aglione is the giant garlic from Valdichiana, used in the Aglione sauce together with sieved tomatoes.
Pici is the best known symbol for our local cuisine. The pasta “i pici” is a thicker version of spaghetti.
The medieval Fortress of Montepulciano houses the office of the Consortium Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Every year in February the new vintage of the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is presented here: Anteprima del Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Enoliteca is a wine bar in the Fortress where you can taste the local wines from the wineries in the Montepulciano region.
At the entrance of the Enoliteca bar you get an open wine card. With this card you can swipe wine at any machine. The card will keep track of each glass of wine that you taste. After you’ve finished your wine tasting you return the card to the desk and pay the bill.
The fortress is in a beautiful setting. The terrace offers amazing views over the landscape and rolling hills.
Historical wine cellars
Walk through the medieval streets of Montepulciano and visit the historical wine cellars. The entrance is free and open to anyone.
After a visit to the wine cellars you have the opportunity to taste the wines.
E lucevan Le Stelle
Piazza di San Francesco is a small square from where the views over de San Biagio church and Valdichiana valley are breathtaking.
There is a cosy bar on the square, called E Lucevan Le Stelle, where I often go for an Aperol Spritz. The ingredients of an Aperol Spritz are Prosecco, Aperol, Springwater and a slice of orange.
As the evening approaches and it’s time for an appetizer the atmosphere at E Lucevan Le Stelle is at its best. Enjoy your appetizer served with free little snacks like olives and chips.
The restaurant offers a wide choice of wines by the glass and has a varying lunch and dinner menu. Highly recommended!
Address: Piazza San Francesco 3, 53045 Montepulciano.
Ristorante La Grotta
In general Italians eat dinner from 8 PM. It differs per region, but in Tuscany you can’t have your dinner in a restaurant before 7.30-8 PM.
Close to the San Biagio church is restaurant La Grotta. La Grotta is a top-rated restaurant in Montepulciano. You will be pleasantly surprised by the beautiful presentation of the dishes and the refined Tuscan cooking. The menu includes vegetarian dishes.
La Grotta offers a wonderful selection of Italy’s finest wines including, of course, the classics: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino and Chianti. The service is very friendly.
Reservations is necessary, especially during the high season.
In the summer you can dine in the garden facing the San Biagio church.
Bar Menchetti la Crocetta
Bar Menchetti is at walking distance from my apartment. I can’t resist eating the “pizza al taglio”. This pizza is delicious! And also the coffee is top quality. If you’re an espresso addict then go here.
They have a selection of fine wines and a wide choice of snacks. Young people often go to Menchetti for the “streetfood”.
They offer a small lunch menu. People who work in Montepulciano often eat at Bar Menchetti. This bar has become a legendary stop for many locals.
Address Menchetti la Crocetta: Via Mario Mencattelli 6, 53045 Montepulciano.
The best “gelateria” in Montepulciano is La Crocetta. And it’s no wonder. Every day fresh ingredients are used for making ice cream flavours like hazelnut, pistache, strawberry and other milk based flavors.
Il Frantoio di Montepulciano
Do you want to buy high quality olive oil? Then go to the Olive Oil Mill in Montepulciano. Different kinds of extra vergine olive oils are produced here. The olive harvest takes place in November. You can see how olive oil is produced. For more information your can read my blog post.
Il Frantoio di Montepulciano is open on weekdays in the morning and in the afternoon (closed between 1.00-3.30 PM) and on Saturdays only in the morning. You can also taste the olive oil.
Address il Frantoio di Montepulciano: Via di Martiena 2, 53045 Montepulciano.
Bravio delle Botti
Do you happen to be in Montepulciano the third week of August? What about a visit to the Wine Barrel Race?
The Bravio delle Botti is a race between the eight districts of the town. The wine barrel pushers compete with each other for the Bravium. The Bravium is a painted colorful banner bearing the image of the patron saint of Montepulciano.
During the week many fun activities are organized. The city is full of coloured flags of each district. The run itself is on Sunday. It is the most important race during the whole event.
The Bravio delle Botti is a fascinating event in Montepulciano and a must do when you’re in Tuscany.
Ristorante Trattoria di Cagnano
Looking forward to eat a really good pizza Napoletana? In Montepulciano it is difficult to find a good pizza. Ristorante Trattoria di Cagnano is the only pizzeria in Montepulciano with a wood-fired oven.
In the summer time you can eat outside on the terrace. The menu offers a variety of pizza’s, pasta dishes and main courses.
Calici di Stelle
August 10th is the day of Saint Lorenzo “La Notte di San Lorenzo” and the night of the shooting stars. Saint Lorenzo is celebrated in many places. When you see a shooting star, you must make a wish and it will come true!
During the celebration of San Lorenzo many activities, tastings and performances are held in every town or village in Italy.
Calici di Stelle is a huge wine event in Montepulciano. The Piazza Grande is the place where people come together to dance and taste local wines and have a great party!
On a night like that there is a lot of wine drinking. The atmosphere is superb. It is an exciting wine event in Montepulciano. So, if you’re around on August 10 then definitely come to this amazing event!
The weekly market in Montepulciano is every Thursday from 8 AM to 1 PM. The market is nearby the bus station in Montepulciano, just outside the historical centre.
On market day one sells vegetables, fruit, different types of cheeses and local meats, clothes, flowers and household utensils. You can also buy porchetta (roasted pork), homemade lasagne and chicken.
It is a huge market in Montepulciano. Here you have the opportunity to buy lots of local delicacies!