Less than an hour from Montefollonico (our Tuscan Countryside home base) is the charming town of Montalcino. We spent an afternoon in Montalcino and could not have asked for better weather.
The drive from Montefollonico to Montalcino was breathtaking. I kept making Wade stop the car so I could jump out to take pictures.
You will know you are in the “historic” town when you see the walls of the famous Fortress which was built in 1361. Visitors can enter the Fortress for free and explore. There is a cute cafe inside where you can sit and grab a coffee, wine or sandwich. If you want to climb to the top of the Fortress Tower- you can purchase tickets in the cafe for under 5 euros.
**Free public bathrooms are on the side of the Fortress 🙂
Right across from the main entrance of the Fortress you will find the start of the main street of the town. The area is filled an endless stretch of local artisan shops, restaurants and wine shops (PS there are a ton of wineries right below/around the town) We wandered around exploring the shops for a bit before we came to the town square.
Throughout the town there were various impressive stone churches that you can go into for free. Many do not allow photos but that is okay!
Soon we found ourselves wandering back residential alleys with climbing ivy and even more spectacular views. It was so quiet away from the crowds- we could even hear the church bells ringing from neighboring towns.
Our stomachs told us it was time to eat, so we headed back to the main part of town to get some grub.
For lunch we ate right near the Fortress at Osteria di Porta al Cassero. The inside of the restaurant was extremely charming with exposed stone and wooden beams. We all started with the panzanella (bread salad) which was so fresh and delicious- each of us agreed we could have ate another bowl. (I am definitely going to try to make this at some point- true Tuscan style). We all ordered various plates: mushroom pasta, sausage and beans and roasted vegetables. Everything was amazing. I highly recommend this place for lunch if you find yourself in Montalcino. An added bonus is that when the weather is warm- the outside area is open which has the most beautiful Tuscan Countryside views.
Some other places recommended for dining included: Locanda Demetra, Castello Banfi La Taverna and Ristorante Boccon DiVino.
After lunch- we were full and happy. We would have loved to spend more time in Montalcino but had plans to go visit Rosewood’s Castiglion del Bosco for the remainder of the day. (Post to come)
Are you are looking for more pictures and info on our trip around Italy? I have posted a ton and still have so much to share with you guys! Check out about some of our time in Venice – here (more coming soon), visit to the island of Burano – here , Tuscany’s Vignamaggio Winery- here, Tuscany’s Montefollonico, Tour of the Vatican with Walks of Italy – here, Food Tour in Trastevere Rome With Eating Europe- here, the best way to see the Colosseum in Rome – here, a quick trip to the island of Capri- here. Also check out our long layover in Istanbul Turkey – here!