(click on image to see more photos of Montepulciano)
The tour begins with a relaxing and leisurely drive into the scenic Southern Tuscany, and through this magical region of Italy as we make our way to Montepulciano. We will pass by ancient hilltop villages, patchwork of farmlands, vineyards, medieval castles, and undulating hills and dales punctuated with distinctive cypress trees, so be sure you have your camera handy to capture some of these postcard beautiful landscapes.
This ancient town with Etruscan roots was built on a ridge of Monte Poliziano from which it got its name. Perfectly located between the stunning Val di Chiana (Valley of Chiana) and Val d’Orcia (Valley of Orcia), Montepulciano is Tuscany at its best. When you arrive, you will see why Sienna and Florence repeatedly fought over it, and admire the glory Florence brought to Montepulciano’s impressive Renaissance palazzi, churches and piazzas. Pedestrian friendly medieval lanes will lead you to many of Montepulciano’s treasures: imposing architecture, local artisan shops, gastronomic boutiques, enoteche and wine cellars with ample opportunities for wine tastings. A stroll to the edge of town’s outer walls will reward you with a most spectacular panorama of the exceptional beauty of the Tuscan countryside.
Italians’ passion for food and wine are particularly strong in Tuscan kitchens and wineries. After a delicious lunch in town, a visit to the region’s best wineries will follow where you can taste the local wines and also the different products made by them.
Tuscany is world renown for its exceptional wines, but “Montepulciano is King of all wines” according to Francesco Redi, the famous 17th century Italian poet and physician, in his famous poem, Bacchus in Tuscany. The noble wine of Montepulciano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, is one of Tuscany’s classic red that has been a favorite among the aristocracy and royalty ever since Lorenzo de Medici in the 15th century.
The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has also been elevated to the prestigious DOCG status - Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. According to the stringent DOCG law, the wine must contain at least 70% Sangiovese grapes from vineyards surrounding Montepulciano, up to 20% Canaiolo grapes, and up to 20% other red variety. The wine must also be aged for two years in oak or chestnut barrels before being released, and three years for riserva labels. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has found its special place in wine collector’s cellars and dinner tables world wide.
(click on image to see more photos of Pienza)
From here we continue our enogastronomic tour with a drive through rural Tuscany to our next destination, Pienza
, a remarkable Renaissance utopia that revolutionized city planning and earned the prestigious honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage
site, with breathtaking views of Val d’Orcia
- a valley worthy of its own place on the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural Landscapes
. But for those with a discerning palate for gastronomic delights, Pienza’s other claim to fame is their production of the finest pecorino cheese
Pienza got its name from Pope Pius II
, the homegrown pope who transformed the existing village of Corsignano
into his vision of the ultimate 15th century Renaissance “utopian city”
where humanistic concepts were applied for the first time to create a model of ideal urban living, a plan that inspired its implementation to other Italian as well as European cities.
Enchanting views of Val d’Orcia
beyond the stone city walls, narrow romantic streets with names like Via dell’Amore (Street of Love)
and Via dell Baccio (Street of the Kiss)
, and medieval nooks and crannies that reveal local treasures within its shops and boutiques, makes this tiny hilltop town an idyllic setting for a stroll.
The lush pastoral grasslands surrounding Pienza upon which local sheep graze, contribute to Italy’s finest pecorino,
or cheese made from ewes’ milk. From soft and buttery fresh pecorino (pecorino fresco
), to pecorino aged in various coatings and mixed with different subtle flavors (pecorino stagionato
), you will be pleased to discover these distinct traditional flavors at the many locally owned gastronomic boutiques throughout Pienza.
From here we will make our way through the Tuscan countryside again as you sit back, relax, and enjoy the comfortable ride back to the Eternal City of Rome
where your professional driver will drop you off at the hotel.
Tuscany charms you with its many impressive historic towns, satisfies you with sumptuous local dishes and wine, and enchants you with evocative vistas that make the journey as memorable as the destinations you arrive at.
We thank you for choosing Stefano Rome Tours
for your guided tours in Rome and beyond, and we wish you safe and happy travels!
IMPORTANT: PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER if you don't receive correspondence from us within 24-48 hours, especially if you use hotmail or msn email accounts.
* This tour is offered 360 days a year.
* The price of this wine tasting tour includes private deluxe vehicle with a knowledgeable and English speaking driver, VAT tax, fuel, insurance, parking and applicable toll fees. It does not include wine tasting fees, lunch, gratuities, or other client personal expenses.
* Wine tasting costs between 10-15 Euros per person and it is paid directly to the winery.
* The total price for the tour is per vehicle. Guests may split the cost of the tour among themselves as they wish.
* If you are enjoying your day and wish to extend your tour to arrive in Rome past 5 PM, you may do so at additional 50 Euros per hour.
* Payments are made in Euro funds at the end of your journey directly to your Driver, or you may prepay in advance via PayPal. We do not accept credit card payments. Please let us know when you book your tour if you wish to prepay and just enjoy yourself on the day of your tour.
* Please allow up to 24 hours for email inquiry replies and service confirmation. We have limited office hours on Sundays, please allow for additional time.
* Please taste wine responsibly,
and never on an empty stomach. Excessive consumption of wine may interfere with the enjoyment of your tour. In case that excessive consumption of wine and/or alcohol results in your desire to return to your hotel early, please be advised that you will not be reimbursed for the remaining portion of the tour, and will be charged the full fare of the tour as originally booked.
: We do not ask for your credit card information, require advance payments, or penalize you for cancellations. We operate on the honor system, so we kindly ask that cancellations be made at minimum 7 days in advance so we can rebook your service and your driver does not lose work for that day.
See more questions to your answers in our F.A.Q. Page