MONTALCINO: BRUNELLO, PER FAVORE
A quintessential fairytale village perched in the hills south of Siena, Montalcino is a Tuscan favorite and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This quaint piece of heaven is internationally known for the irreplaceable Brunello di Montalcino wine production and offers beautiful views atop the Tuscan valleys, lined with olive groves and vineyards as far as the eye can see.
The prized vino formula was invented by Ferruccio Biondi Santi in 1888 when he decided to use only Sangiovese grapes. Brunello ages for a minimum of five years, two of which must take place in oak barrels.
The petite village was built around Abbey of Sant'Antimo, which originated sometime before 814. The main piazza (Piazza del Popolo) features a fortress built in 1361, and it was built out of the existing 13th century walls, becoming the Sienese Republic's last line of defense against the Medici expansion.
Must-sees include the Museo Civico and Diocesano di Arte Sacra (religious paintings and sculptures) and Museu del Vetro (the history of glass making), and the annual Wine and Jazz Festival every July is not to be missed!