We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

How to choose?!

Which Montepulciano hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
332 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
How to choose?!

We will be staying in Montepulciano for 2.5 days this August. We have previously visited Cinque Terre, Lucca, Pisa, and Florence in the area. This time, we would like to focus on pretty, small towns - relaxing, sipping wine, and taking lots of pictures. We don't need lots of big piazzas or impressive churches, just small winding alleyways, nice details (e.g., flower boxes in windows, beautiful doors) and cobblestone streets to wander through and explore. We want to strike a balance between seeing a few towns while still going at a relaxed pace.

On our first day, we will arrive in Montepulciano in the afternoon, and will likely just settle in and explore Montepulciano. For our next 2 days, we will head out on day trips (we'll have a car) to see other towns. We are also considering a visit to Sant'Antimo to hear the monks chant and a winery tour/lunch at Avignonesi (thoughts?). So that will probably only leave us the time to visit 2 or 3 towns I'm guessing?

So far, here are the towns we are thinking of (many of which I got from a previous post here):

- Montalcino

- Pienza

- San Quirico d'orcia

- Cetona

- Monticchiello

- San Casciano dei Bagni

- Montefollonico

- Civita di Bagnoregio

- Pitigliano

Obviously there are WAY too many towns on our list so I was hoping some others would be able to help us narrow down our focus and pick the prettiest towns for our itinerary. Other suggestions not on this list are also welcome!! Thank you in advance, this forum is always so helpful!!

Edited: 10 March 2014, 21:31
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
25,174 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: How to choose?!

Well Montalcino is close to San Antimo and Pienza is just down the road from Montepulciano.

Bagnoregio seems a long way off. Maybe stick with towns in the Siena province.

Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
332 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: How to choose?!

Thank you for your reply. I was also thinking of Montalcino and Pienza as they lie in between Sant'Antimo abbey and Montepulciano. San Quirico also seems to fall in there, but I am assuming all 3 towns would be too much for 1 day? If so, which 2 would you pick (Montalcino, San Quirico or Pienza)? I think we will try to go to Sant'Antimo for the 9am chanting, and then start working our way back towards Montepulciano, stopping in one town for the morning and the other for the afternoon?

For the second day, I agree that Civita di Bagnoregio and Pitigliano are pretty far away (unless they are significantly more picturesque than the other towns?) So, of the other towns mentioned - Cetona, Monticchiello, San Casciano dei Bagni, Montefollonico - which would people recommend? Is one prettier (cobblestone streets, flower boxes, good for picture taking) than the others? We will likely go to Avignonesi or another local winery for a tour/tasting/lunch, so I am guessing we will only have time to visit one other town this day...

Edited: 11 March 2014, 11:45
Montepulciano, Italy
Level Contributor
5,941 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: How to choose?!

You can easily visit Sant'Antimo, Montalcino, San Quirco, Pienza in one day but may I throw a spanner in the works by suggesting another very nearby little delight and that's Bagno Vignoni? It only requires 30 mins and is so pretty, do tag it on the end or, if time is rushed, skip San Quirico and see this instead. Incidentally, I like the 9 am chanting at Sant'Antimo as it's one of the quieter sessions of the day in summer.

I love the Pitigliano / Sovana / Sorano triangle very much indeed but they are about a 90 mins drive away. Bagnoregio is horribly crowded in summer and a lot further on. Of the rest - Cetona, Monticchiello, San Casciano dei Bagni, Montefollonico - they are all stunners but I reckon Monticchiello and Cetona are possibly the prettiest for cobblestones / flower boxes. Cetona and San Casc probably best for awesome views and both have great restaurants too. If you can get to Avignonesi both the tour and the wines are well worth it.

Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
332 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: How to choose?!

lastraniera - thank you so much for the advice. I am happy to hear that Sant'Antimo, Montalcino, San Quirco, Pienza are all possible in one day! I will look into Bagno Vignoni too. I am also grateful to hear confirmation that 9AM is a good time to go to Sant'Antimo and that Avignonesi is a good winery to visit! Thanks again!

Montepulciano, Italy
Level Contributor
5,941 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: How to choose?!

Re Sant'Antimo do please note though that the abbey is not officially open to general visitors until 10.15 each day, prior to that it's assumed people are coming in for religious reflection or attend 9.15 Mass so the sacristan on the door may challenge you. Shouldn't be a problem but best to keep cameras out of sight as they're very sensitive to that during summer. I dropped by the other day and was the only person there apart from the monks for the afternoon chanting at 2.45. It was the most extraordinarily special experience, quite other worldly.

Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
332 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: How to choose?!

I was worried about this myself - I wish it was possible for us to go to a chant directly before the abbey's official opening time so we could hear the chanting and then explore the abbey and take pictures. But it doesn't seem like the timing will work out for us like that. Plus, I think going early in the AM would be the best way for us to get the most out of our day. So we will go at 9AM and keep our cameras tucked away - we will just have to rely on our memories of what I am sure will be a wonderful experience! Hopefully no one challenges us and makes us leave.

7. Re: How to choose?!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post has been removed at the author's request. The author may post again if desired.

Posts on the TripAdvisor forums may be edited for a short period of time. Once the edit period has expired, authors may update their posts by removing and reposting them.

To read more about editing your posts, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/how_to_edit_your_posts

Removed on: 13 March 2014, 12:26
Montepulciano, Italy
Level Contributor
5,941 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: How to choose?!

Sit quietly at the back for the chanting, stay on for Mass if you fancy and no one will approach you. It may be possible to take photographs inside once Mass has finished (which is usually around 9.40 ish). The Sacristan is strict though, especially nowadays in summer as the abbey sees so many visitors.

Toronto, Ontario
Level Contributor
332 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: How to choose?!

That's great information. Thank you!

10. Re: How to choose?!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 16 March 2015, 04:23