TUSCANY & MORE

NOT TOO FARAWAY...

Some of the destinations I wish to propose you are not too far from Umbria. 

With some of these stunning towns, we share the same Etruscan traditions and we have very similar charatheristic of the land (suck like the kind of rock called "tufo" - tuff)

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NEW DESTINATIONS:

Montepulciano

MONTEPULCIANO & TASTING of ITS VINO NOBILE

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Montepulciano is a medieval and Renaissance hill town and comune in the Italian province of Siena in southern Tuscany. Montepulciano is a major producer of food and drink. Renowned for its pork, cheese, "pici" pasta, lentils, and honey, it is known worldwide 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.

According to legend, it was founded by an Etruscan King; 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.

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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.

     

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a red wine with a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita status produced in the vineyards surrounding the town of Montepulciano. The wine is made primarily from the Sangiovese grape varietal, blended with Canaiolo Nero and small amounts of other local varieties. The wine is aged for 2 years (at least 1 year in oak barrels); three years if it is a riserva.

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Pienza

PIENZA & TASTING of PECORINO CHEESE

Pienza, a town and comune in the province of Siena, in the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany, between the towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, is the "touchstone of Renaissance urbanism."

In 1996, UNESCO declared the town a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d'Orcia, was included on the list of UNESCO's World Cultural Landscapes.
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Pienza is famous not only for its architectures but also for the excellent sheep's milk cheese, or more correctly, ewes' milk cheese, pecorino, produced in the area. This unique sheep’s milk cheese gets its name from the ancient city of Pienza, located just a few miles from Montepulciano. Pecorino di Pienza is considered the best pecorino produced in the Crete Senesi, a specific area within the province of Siena. Sheep were probably being raised in Tuscany since before the Etruscans

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Pitigliano & Sovana

PITIGLIANO & ITS WINE (click here for TRUFFLE HUNTING)

When you see Pitigliano, it's like turning the pages of a book of fairy tales set in the Middle Ages.

The town is built on a promontory surrounded by bright green valleys, grooved by the Lente and Meleta rivers.

The high tufa cliffs are chiselled with a thousand caves and tower-houses. The houses are built on a tufaceous drum in the same jutting vertical as the sheer cliffs which make the city wall almost superfluous.

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This, however, in no way detracts from the splendid military structures such as the 13th Orsini palace. The town takes pride in its heritage: the Prehistoric period, with its tombs discovered along the city wall and in the surrounding area; the Roman period that left behind the town's name, Gens Petilia; the Medieval period of the Aldobrandeschi, lords of the Maremma for almost five hundred years; the Renaissance grandeur brought by the noble Roman family, the Orsini; and, after a brief Sienese interlude, the Medici and their heirs, the Lorraine who stimulated a phase of modernization.

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Another key to the appreciation of Pitigliano is the famous Jewish ghetto. This extraordinary town has been called "Little Jerusalem" because of its large and active Jewish population which settled there beginning in the 15th century. Today the Sinagogue is once again open to the public, both for worship and a visit, after extensive restoration.The interesting Jewish Cemetery, the unleavened bread oven, the cellar carvedinto the rock where Kosher wine is produced, the Kosher butcher, the cleansing baths for women and the cleaners are all open to the public.

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SOVANA

Sovana, 8km north of Pitigliano, is now a village with little more than a single street running from the castle ruins to the cathedral.

It is in a beautiful position on a ridge overlooking a wide panorama. It is traditionally reputed to be the birthplace of Hildebrand, later Pope Gregory VII (1026/8-85).

An important Etruscan settlement and later a Roman municipium, Sovana became a bishopric in the 5C. Its period of greatest importance was in the 13C when it was the seat of the Sovana branch of the Aldobrandeschi family after it had separated from the Santa Fiora branch. It then passed under the Orsini and was conquered by Siena in 1410.

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Attempts to repopulate the village under subsequent Medici rule were doomed on account of malaria. At the entrance to the village are the impressive ruins of the Aldobrandeschi castle (13C-14C) and remains of the Etruscan walls. Facing onto the small brick piazza is the former Palazzo del Comune, dating from the 12C with a clock and bell-cot, which has been the local archive since the 17C.

To the right is the Palazzo Pretorio, which was largely rebuilt by Siena in the 15C and has nine coats of arms of the Sienese governors on the facade. On the adjacent Loggia del Capitano is a large Medici coat of arms carved in marble. On the opposite side of the piazza is the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.

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At the end of the village, in a stone-flagged piazza surrounded by cypresses, is the Romanesque cathedral of Santi Pietro e Paolo. The original church was probably begun during the papacy of Gregory VII, but its present structure is thought to date from the 12C-13C.

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Terme di Saturnia

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The Terme di Saturnia are a group of springs located in the municipality of Manciano, a few kilometers from the village of Satiurnia and Pitigliano. The springs that feed the baths, which are found in the south-eastern valley, cover a vast territory.
One legend, according to the Etuscans and Romans, was that the Terme di Saturnia were formed by lightning bolts, thrown by Jupiter. During a violent quarrel between the two mythological deities, the bolts thrown towards Saturn had missed, causing the formations.
The sulphurous spring water, at a temperature of 37.5 °C, are well known for their therapeutic properties, offering relaxation and well being through immersion. The main thermal waterfalls are the Mill Falls, located at an old mil.

Terme di Saturnia
The yield of the source is about 800 liters per second, which guarantees an optimal replacement of water. The chemical make-up is sulfur, carbon, sulfate, bicarbonate-alkaline, earth, with the presence of hydrogen sulfide gas and carbon dioxide. The minerals dissolved in water amount to 2.79 grams per liter.

The area of Saturnia Spa presents, as a whole, a large and freely accessible area where it has developed the famed luxury spa of Terme di Saturnia, where, in addition to various thermal treatments, also produces thermal perfumes and creams for men and women. (by Wikipidia)


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Viterbo

VITERBO

Old tourist guides called Viterbo Città delle belle donne e delle belle fontane (City of beautiful women and fountains)

The finest medieval houses of Viterbo are characterized by a profferlo, a decorated external staircase leading to the main door; it is a heritage of rural buildings where the ground floor was utilized for stables and people lived above. The quarter of S. Pellegrino in the southern part of the town retains several medieval houses with more, or less, elaborate profferli.

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Palazzo dei Papi is one of the most important monuments in the city, situated alongside the Duomo.
The massive façade, facing the central piazza San Lorenzo which is dominated by the Duomo, is approached by a wide staircase.
Viterbo remained the papal seat for twenty-four years, from 1257 to 1281.many Popes were elected in the most famous hall of the palace, the Sala del Conclave so called because it was home to the first and longest conclave in history.
 VT duomo VT images 

All rights reserved - VAT IT016336330551
All rights reserved - VAT IT016336330551