Tuscany 2018 Montepulciano, Val d'Orcia, Pisa

For the Tuscany portion of our travels we stayed in an apartment in Montepulciano. Originally we had hoped to stay in the old hill town, but the most suitable arrangements were found in a lovely, modern, apartment at the base of the hill. We were only a short walk from the supermarket and bus stop, where we could ride to the top of the hill and easily walk down. This was important, as one of our group was on crutches from a recent fall, and walking up would have been difficult. By the end we were very pleased that we had chosen that apartment - not only for its comfort, attractiveness, and views, but for its convenience to the bus, market, and ease of driving out into the surrounding areas.

Piazza Grande, the "top" of Montepulciano. Cantina Contucci is at the right, and their cellars and tasting room is down the road at far right.
Piazza Grande, Montepulciano
Palazzo Comunale, Piazza Grande, Montepulciano
Inside the courtyard of Fortezza di Montepulciano
Poppies were everywhere along the roadside. These were near the Chiesa di San Biagio
Chiesa di san biagio
Looking down over the walls of Montepulciano
Montefollonico from Montepulciano
Walking up the hill, Montepulciano

We took a drive through the Val d'Orcia, stopping at several hill towns, castles, gardens and more.

Spedaletto Castle, Castiglione d'Orcia
Roses, Spedaletto
Poppy fields, Spedaletto
Tentennano Castle, Rocca D'Orcia
Villa, Val d'Orcia
Rocca d'Orcia
Poppy, Montalcino
Montalcino views
Gelato (Montalcino)

From Montalcino we drove to Pienza, known for its "harmonious architecture" created in the humanist style, by Enea Silvio Piccolomini who later became Pope Pius II. He made the former humble village of Corsignano, into what he considered the Utopian city should be, exemplifying the principles and philosophy of classical times and of the great Italian Renaissance, modern Pienza.

Pienza is also well-known as the home of fine Peccorino cheese! Of course it must be sampled!

Just before arriving in Pienza is this magnificent view of a hilltop villa in the Val d'Orcia.
Approaching Pienza
Awwww. Happy Anniversary, Honey!
Montepulciano with Chiesa di San Biagio, returning to Montepulciano

Never one to pass up a nice botanical garden, we took an afternoon trip to La Foce Gardens, not far from Montepulciano.

View of cypress lined road climbing to a villa in Val d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy (from La Foce Gardens)
Down the steps, Montepulciano
The bus ride to the top of Montepulciano
One of the many Montepulciano enoteche (wine shops)

A day trip to Pisa and Volterra (where we had Chianti Gelato!) was a long drive, but lovely (except for a bit of rain at times).

Torre Pendente (the Leaning Tower)
A shaft of light at the end of a narrow alley in Volterra, Italy
Guitar maker at work, La Liuteria, Volterra, Italy
Kenny's Steak Florentine, Montepulciano
Created By
Scott Thomas


All photos Copyright © 2018 Scott Thomas (https://scottthomasimages.com)

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