Tour of Montalcino and Sant’Antimo Abbey
Montalcino historic centre
Palazzo dei Priori
Stop at the Winery
Duration of the tour: 5 hours
Suitable for children: yes
Disabled’s Accessibility: yes
Difference in level: 40 metres
Discovering Montalcino and the nearby Sant’Antimo Abbey
The tour of Montalcino and the Sant’Antimo Abbey enables you to know one of the territories of Tuscany that has made the name of this region in the world great. By a path between art, food and wine we will discover the excellences of this land. Montalcino is a suggestive village in the province of Siena that rises 564 meters above sea level, home of one of the most appreciated wines in the world: Brunello.
Through a tour of the picturesque alleys of the village, starting from Piazza Cavour, we see the small shops that still populate the centre.
Arriving in Piazza dei Priori, you have the opportunity to appreciate an ancient building that here has been preserved: the Palazzo dei Priori. Seat of the administrative offices of the town, the palace stands out for its medieval appearance and for the presence of numerous coats of arms, on the side of the tower, which are the signs of the passage of administrators all along the centuries-old history of Montalcino.
Palazzo dei Priori
Art and wine
Arriving then in Piazza Garibaldi, we see the great contemporary artwork consisting in author’s drawings tiles decorating a wall; this sort of mural is composed of a series of tiles commemorating all the editions of Benvenuto Brunello, the initiative in which, at the beginning of each year, the bottles of Brunello wine produced five years earlier are uncorked – as required by the disciplinary.
From Piazza Garibaldi, we visit the Sant’Egidio Church, one of the oldest and most suggestive of Montalcino, which inside preserves, in addition to artworks of the Sienese school, a very particular thing that is not found in any other local churches… From the church of Sant’Egidio, our tour of Montalcino and Sant’Antimo Abbey continues by visiting the Complex of Sant’Agostino which stands out for keeping one of the most important art collections in the province of Siena.
Sant’Agostino Museum and the fortress
The building houses the Diocesan Civic Museum where important examples of painting and sculpture by Tuscan artists from the medieval and modern periods are on display. In the archaeological section, then, it is where the finds and the graphic reconstructions allow you to retrace – in a truly evocative setting – the traces of housing settlements in the area, dated since the prehistoric era. Entering inside Sant’Agostino church – now deconsecrated – we can admire the refined 14th-century frescoes, some of which were made by the Sienese painter Bartolo di Fredi.
From the museum we then move to the Fortress, an imposing military building that dominates the village above a cliff; today the fortification is home to a well-stocked wine shop; here wine lovers can taste a glass of a good Brunello vintage. From the Enoteca premises, located on the ground floor of the ramparts, it is possible to climb up to the rampart walk; here is where you can enjoy a breathtaking view that starts from the Val d’Orcia to the first hills of the Maremma, up to towards north, to glimpse the city of Siena.
The time of the lunch break will be an excellent opportunity to visit one of the cellars located in the Montalcino area. As Brunello’s homeland, one way to get to know the fascinating history of this wine is by visiting a winery. From the vineyards to the rooms with the oak barrels, you will get to know each production phase.
Panorama of Montalcino from the Fortress
Sant’Antimo Abbey in the surrounding Montalcino’s countryside
The Abbey of Sant’Antimo, a Romanesque gem
We conclude the itinerary at the Sant’Antimo Abbey, one of the most significant examples of Romanesque architecture in Tuscany.
Walking through the aisles of the imposing church of the Abbey, we can still sense the mystical atmosphere of a remote time, a time when images carved in stone – like those that can still be found in the walls of this monastery – were full of meanings that partially escape us in this day.
The tour of Montalcino and Sant’Antimo Abbey leads you to rediscover symbols of a distant Middle Ages, images that still keep fascinating visitors today.
The abbatial church of Sant’Antimo
The stop at the Winery of Brunello is only a proposal and is not included in the tour fee, as it is an external service. The guide is not a tourist agency, therefore he cannot reserve external services but only give suggestions or procure the contacts of the services themselves.
The cost of museum tickets (Sant’Agostino Museum and Fortress) is not included in the tour fee. In case you do not want to visit the museums, it’s possible to do the tour with an alternative route to the museums.
The guide does not provide transportation service; it is, therefore, necessary to reach each site of the route by its own means of transport.
For organized groups/squadrons, there are drop-off and pick-up points for passengers at each site on the route (click here to view all points on the route).