Montalcino is distinctive among the Tuscan hill towns in having a well preserved fortress. From the ramparts we get splendid views of the tiled roofs and spires of the town churches and the surrounding countryside. Every shop seems to be selling the famous Brunello and the main square is lined with cafes and restaurants. We paused at the Caffe Fiascetteria Italiana in the main square watching the world go by.
Nearby we visited the abbey of Sant'Antimo dating back to the 10th century. It was an important centre for pilgrims. For lunch we went to the Osteria del Basso Mundo where the food was wonderfully traditional. The 'contadino' Brunello was made by the restaurant proprietor and served from large straw covered bottles reminiscent of the Chianti bottles that were once ubiquitous on the UK market. The day finished with a tasting of top class Brunello at Casanova Di Neri. Lodging for our last night was at the Hotel Dei Capitani, a comfortable establishment which had wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Next morning The arrival of the bus for our return to Pisa airport signalled the end of a wonderful week in Tuscany. Planning is well in hand for next year's event in Sicily.
The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder published by Willow Moon. e-Book and paperback at all Amazon sites. Reviews at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005BJ3GNI