Montepulciano

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Montepulciano
Comune
Comune di Montepulciano
Panorama of Montepulciano

Coat of arms
Montepulciano is located in Italy
Montepulciano
Location of Montepulciano in Italy
Coordinates: 43°06′N 11°47′E / 43.100°N 11.783°E / 43.100; 11.783
CountryItaly
RegionTuscany
ProvinceSiena (SI)
FrazioniAbbadia, Acquaviva, Argiano, Ascianello, Cervognano, Fonte al Giunco, Gracciano, Montepulciano Stazione, Nottola, Salcheto, Sant'Albino, Tre Berte, Valiano
Government
 • MayorAndrea Rossi (PD)
Area
 • Total165.58 km2 (63.93 sq mi)
Elevation605 m (1,985 ft)
Population (30 April 2009)
 • Total14,476
 • Density87/km2 (230/sq mi)
DemonymPoliziani or Montepulcianesi
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code53045
Dialing code0578
Patron saintSt. John the Baptist
Saint dayAugust 29
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Montepulciano
Comune
Comune di Montepulciano
Panorama of Montepulciano

Coat of arms
Montepulciano is located in Italy
Montepulciano
Location of Montepulciano in Italy
Coordinates: 43°06′N 11°47′E / 43.100°N 11.783°E / 43.100; 11.783
CountryItaly
RegionTuscany
ProvinceSiena (SI)
FrazioniAbbadia, Acquaviva, Argiano, Ascianello, Cervognano, Fonte al Giunco, Gracciano, Montepulciano Stazione, Nottola, Salcheto, Sant'Albino, Tre Berte, Valiano
Government
 • MayorAndrea Rossi (PD)
Area
 • Total165.58 km2 (63.93 sq mi)
Elevation605 m (1,985 ft)
Population (30 April 2009)
 • Total14,476
 • Density87/km2 (230/sq mi)
DemonymPoliziani or Montepulcianesi
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code53045
Dialing code0578
Patron saintSt. John the Baptist
Saint dayAugust 29
WebsiteOfficial website

Montepulciano is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and comune in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany. It sits high on a (605 metres (1,985 feet)) limestone ridge, 13 kilometres (8 miles) E of Pienza, 70 km (43 miles) SE of Siena, 124 km (77 miles) SE of Florence, and 186 km (116 miles) north of Rome by car.

Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Renowned for its pork, cheese, "pici" pasta, lentils, and honey, it is known world-wide for its wine. Connoisseurs consider its Vino Nobile, which should not be confused with varietal wine merely made from the Montepulciano grape, among Italy's best.

History[edit]

According to legend, it was founded by the Etruscan King Lars Porsena of Chiusi; recent findings prove that a settlement was already in existence in the 4th-3rd centuries BC. In Roman times it was the seat of a garrison guarding the main roads of the area.

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, it developed as a religious center under the Lombards. In the 12th century it was repeatedly attacked by the Republic of Siena, which the Poliziani faced with the help of the Perugia and Orvieto, and sometimes Florence, communes. The 14th century was characterized by constant struggles between the local noble families, until the Del Pecora family became rulers of the town. From 1390, Montepulciano was a loyal ally (and later possession) of Florence and, until the mid-16th century, lived a period of splendour with architects such as Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, Baldassarre Peruzzi, Ippolito Scalza and others, building luxurious residences and other edifices here. In 1559, when Siena was conquered by Florence and Montepulciano lost its strategic role, its importance declined.

After the unification of Italy and the drying of the Val di Chiana, the town remained the most important agricultural centre in the area, while the industrial activities moved mostly next to Chiusi, which was nearer to the railroad being built in that period.

Main sights[edit]

The main street of Montepulciano stretches for 1.5 km (0.9 mi) from the Porta al Prato to the Piazza Grande at the top of the hill. The city is renowned for its walkable, car-free nature. The main landmarks include:

The walls of the city date to around the 14th century.

Gallery[edit]

Famous citizens[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Montepulciano is twinned with:

Montepulciano in fiction[edit]

Linda Proud's The Botticelli Trilogy centres on the life of Angelo Poliziano. The second volume in particular, Pallas and the Centaur (2004), deals with his boyhood in Montepulciano, and the life of his sister Maria. The novel contains vivid detail of the city and surrounding country and an authoritative account of the murder of Poliziano's father derived from local knowledge.

Twilight Saga: New Moon was filmed in Montepulciano as a stand in for the Italian City of Volterra, the city where the Volturi live.

External links[edit]

Media related to Montepulciano at Wikimedia Commons