Close to: Pienza (11 km), Montepulciano (14 km) and Montalcino (31 km)
SPAS: Chianciano Terme (Km. 13), Bagno Vignoni (Km. 15)
Distances from: Siena 64 km - Florence 129 km - Rome 179 km - Pisa Aerp. 178 km.
Montichiello is a tiny fortified medieval village known as the “terrazza della Val’ Orcia” - the terrace of Val d’Orcia- for its wonderful hilltop position offering vast and outstanding views over Pienza and the surrounding waving hills. Its defensive thick walls and towers are preserved only in part, just 3 of the original 17 towers have survived. In the highest part of the village you find the Torre del Cassero, that fortunately has remained intact and is now of private property. You enter the village by Porta Sant’Agata through a beautiful leaning watchtower, and your attention is soon captured by the finely restored stone houses, beautifully adorned by colorful flower pots and lovely little balconies. The village still maintains its charming medieval characteristics with its perfect arches, ancient stairs, lovely window sills, and characteristic balconies.
This charming village is widely known as the "ideal city of the Renaissance", the creation of the great humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini who later became Pope Pius II. Piccolomini had the money and influence to transform his birthplace village, the humble Corsignano, into what he considered the Utopian city should be, exemplifying the principles and philosophy of classical times and of the great Italian Renaissance. Thus, Pienza became the realization of a dream! The project was designed by the architect Bernardo "il Rossellino" under the guidance of the great humanist Leon Battista Alberti.
This area of Tuscany boasts of endless rolling hills covered with grain or sunflowers, a rich green valley which encompasses the Orcia river, from which the zone derives its name, and don’t forget the vineyards for the renowned wines of Brunello and the newcomer on the market, the Val d’Orcia DOC. It is no wonder that this territory, which stretches along the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, is protected as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The town has been made incredibly rich and famous by its Brunello wine, one of the world's best and most appreciated Italian wines. Montalcino was already well-known for its fine red wines during the 15th century. However, the precious formula of the fantastic Brunello was invented in 1888 by Ferruccio Biondi Santi, who first had the idea of leaving out the grapes used in the traditional Chianti recipe, such as Canaiolo and Colorino, and using only the Sangiovese variety.
Before the Brunello is ready, it must age for a minimum of 5 years, 2 of which must take place in oak barrels, while the Rosso of Montalcino is ready after only one year of aging. Amongst the many renowned wine producers in the area you will find Biondi-Santi, Schidione and Banfi.
Montalcino is not just wine, it is also very rich in artistic treasures. The historical center is dominated by the mighty and imposing Rocca or fortress built in 1361 to mark the passage of Montalcino under the domination of Siena. The views from its ramparts are spectacular, stretching towards Monte Amiata, across the Crete to Siena, and across all of the Valdorcia and the hills of Maremma.