View from the Top

January 24, 2012 / Places
Montepulciano, Tuscany

Up… up you go, along il corso, past the colonna del Marzocco, past the many patrician palazzi, past the churches, the Torre di Pulcinella with Montepulciano’s favorite character up top, past the Fortezza

..and if you are willing to deliver a pre-emptive strike against the soon to be absorbed calories from yet another fantastic Tuscan meal accompanied by some of the local wine (half way decent, apparently…)

…then do not simply stop up top, in Piazza Grande, to admire Palazzo Contucci, the Palazzo Tarugi, the duomo (pictured right), and the Palazzo Comunale (town hall). You are not done, as there is still some “up” to go.

Enter the Palazzo Comunale, and pay the couple of euro to climb up the belltower.

Except for Cortona and the peak of Monte Amiata, each about 20 miles as the crow flies, in exact opposite direction from one another, you will notice that as far as your eye can see you have no more “up” to go. You are as high as possible, above most of Tuscany, with views over lake Trasimeno and its islands, the Val di Chiana and what’s left of its marshes, now the Montepulciano and Chiusi “lakes”, with views all the way to Cortona. In the other direction is all of the Val d’Orcia, the Amiata, Pienza, Monticchiello, and to the northwest even the towers of Siena on a clear day. If conditions are right you’ll catch the Sibillini mountains in the direction of Perugia (but twice as far, and half-way to Pescara), or even the peaks of the Gran Sasso even farther, to the south-east in Abbruzzo.

Seeing the palazzi of Montepulciano from up top isn’t all that bad either…


by GB Bernardini

Editor, Italian Notebook

8 Responses to “View from the Top”

  1. giuseppe spano (jojo)
    giuseppe spano (jojo)

    Not only is the elevation ‘The Top’ but being there and living the life, you are on top of the world! If only…..

  2. I climbed to the top back in 2004. Great views! If you get the chance, climb the torre in Bologna, which has 498 steps! I certainly earned my lunch that day!

  3. Phillis Bostar

    I went there in 2004 with some friends. Loved it and how far off the beaten track it was. The country side was beautiful as all of Tuscany is

  4. Thanks for the great photos and memories! I was there last year to study at Il Sasso and loved staying in charming Montepulciano…

  5. Dick Varone

    Visited this area in 2003 and most recently in 2009. The area is beautiful, the food the best and the wine oh boy.

  6. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Not a tower I’ve ever climbed – perhaps with my vertigo I’ll let others do the work for me! Thanks for the beautiful view, as ever.


Leave a Reply