Val d'Orcia
Val d'Orcia

Guide to Montalcino in Val d’Orcia

Montalcino, the homeland of the wine Brunello

Talking about Montalcino, it’s impossible not to mention the wine that made the town famous in the world. The Brunello was the first Italian wine to obtain, in 1980, the denomination DOCG (a warranty mark used in Italy). This wine has a very limited production area of about 800 hectares.

Things to do in Montalcino: drink the Brunello - Grapes Uva Sangiovese
Uva Sangiovese (Photo by O.S. / CC BY)

The history of Montalcino

According to tradition, the name Montalcino comes from the latin “mons ilcinus” (from ilex, that means holm). Inhabited since etruscan times, the village was donated by the emperor Louis the Pious to the abbey of Sant’Antimo in 814.

During the middle ages, the history of the village is strongly dependent on the relationships with Siena. In the twelfth century Montalcino was a free town allied with the Sienese, but in the following century it went to war with the Sienese who conquered and razed to the ground its fortifications. In the XVI century Montalcino joined the Grand Duchy of Tuscany .

Things to do in Montalcino

The centre of the village is represented by Piazza del Popolo. It is a small square overlooked by the Palazzo dei Priori. A palace built between the XIII and the XIV century equipped with a high tower that dominates the town.
On the left of the palace, there is a large loggia in renaissance style.
Things to do in Montalcino: visit the hamlet - Piazza del Popolo Palazzo de Priori
Piazza del Popolo Palazzo de Priori (Photo by yashima / CC BY)

The fortress

In 1361 the Sienese chose the highest point in the city to build this impressive fortress. Designed by the architects Mino Foresi and Domenico di Feo, the fortress has an irregular Pentagon shape based and is reinforced with corner towers that also serve to guard theentrances to the facility.

Things to do in Montalcino: visit the Fortress
The Fortress (Photo by Adrian Michael / CC BY)

I musei riuniti di Montalcino

In 1998 were bring tegether the museo civico and the museo diocesano at one location in the former convent of Sant’Agostino. Then there was also open an archaeological section.

Inside we find various testimonies of local artistic production, from the middle ages onwards. Among the works are various sculptures and terracotta, paintings, holy vestments and even some illuminated volumes.


The most interesting churches of Montalcino are the Duomo (the cathedral), Sant’Agostino and Sant’Egidio. The Duomo sstands where once stood the Church of San Salvatore. In XIX century it was extensively remodelled and it acquired the current neoclassical style.

Things to do in Montalcino: visit the Cathedral
Duomo of Montalcino (Photo by Sailko / CC BY)

Around Montalcino…

A short distance from Montalcino, about 9 kilometers, there is the famous Abbey of Sant’Antimo.

Useful informations

Musei riuniti

Address: Via Ricasoli, 31
Opening hours: 10.00-13.00 e 14.00-17-50 (closed on monday)
Tickets: regular 4,50 euro; reduced 3 euro


Address: Piazzale della Fortezza
Openiong hours: 9.00-18.00 (closed on monday)
Tickets: regular 4 euro; reduced 2 euro

For more informations about the museums, please consult the web site of the Proloco of Montalcino.

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