Our hostess at Villa Mazzi in Montepulciano recommended we visit the ancient village of Montechiello a short drive away, so we set off through the countryside to explore. The scenery is amazing, and the just-baled hay made for even more picturesque photo ops. The ancient village of Montechiello is 850-1,000 years old, and perched atop a hill, the view towards Monte Amiata is awesome. We parked at the bottom of the hill in the free parking lot, and walked the path up to the main gate. Here’s a link to the history and good visitor information on Montechiello: http://www.seeyouintuscany.com/tuscany_travel_guide/siena_area/monticchiello/monticchiello.html
It’s a small village, so it doesn’t take long to explore. They have a few restaurants, a museum, churches, some retail shops, and an outdoor art exhibit above the hill. There were cool wire people figures scattered about the village.
We walked around the outside perimeter of the village walls, where there are gardens and amazing views. The lavender was abuzz with honeybees and butterflies.
Just inside the gate is a highly recommended restaurant, Osteria La Porta. It was mid-morning, so too early for lunch. Another day we visited they were closed, so be sure and check their hours. http://www.osterialaporta.it/en/
There was an interesting art exhibit in an olive grove above the village, and I was drawn toward a crumbling tower. Hot and hungry, we made out way back through the village to the gate, where a little cafe was open just outside. Gelato seemed like a refreshing choice, so we admired the view as we ate it.
Cool wire figures were atop the main entrance gate.
We returned to Montepulciano a different way, making a loop through the countryside. We passed bikers and hikers trekking along the dusty gravel road.
And that was our visit to Montechiello!