When it comes to destinations the place that I get the most questions about is Italy. Italy is the one country with big expectations. Tourists want the Italy shown in the movies. But, there are so many aspects to Italy. For me there is the big-city Italy with great tourist sites, churches, shopping, restaurants and all the hub-bub and then there is the peaceful countryside. To me, that is the real deal Italy. As you know my favorite Italian countryside spot is Montepulciano, in Tuscany.
So today, I am featuring more of the real-deal Italy with the beautiful patched , old stone buildings and the ambiance of a world gone by. The places where time has stood still and weathered out the times of war. The place to unwind, relax and soak up all that Italy has to offer. I have visited Montepulciano many times and recommended it highly to tourists. I also spent three weeks in the Italian Language School, Il Sasso, in Montepulciano, which I highly suggest if you want to get a true Italian learning and cultural experience!
The streets are narrow and one-way up to the top of the village where most of the municipal buildings are. There are shops, small grocery shops, eateries and residences all along the way to the top. There is a bus for the locals from the bottom of the village to the top. The bus driver only stops at designated places, not at everyone’s house along the way. When the bus comes along it is best to duck into a doorway to give him room! Off the main street are little alleyways that lead to more residences. I love the color of the stone, a peachy terra cotta color. There are lots of different sized doorways to tuck into here!
And then you see the lovely terraced residences.
And what a view the terraces provide!
As small as the village is there are at least four Catholic churches. A large modern one at the bottom of the village, one in the middle of the village on the way to the top, another one further along the route, and a large cathedral at the top of the village. The photo is of the middle church and it’s old facade. I went there for Mass my first week and sat there and sat there. Eventually a little old man came to me and said all the masses were held at the cathedral at the top or the newer church at the bottom of the village. The middle churches must be rest stops!
As you climb higher into the village there are large gateways. At one time these were used to separate the village and make it harder for attackers to reach the villagers at the top. There are also escape tunnels so the villagers could get from the top of the village back to terra firma.
This is my favorite home in Montepulciano, it sits on the edge of the village overlooking the valley below!
You also have a selection of fine food and drink here! There are wineries, bars, cantinas and restaurants. All have their particular style!
That serve goodies like this!
We did eat healthier fare too!
One of the most popular restaurants is Osteria Acquacheta, located in the village midway. It is only open for dinner in the evenings and GO HUNGRY! Reservations are a must and the long tables are set up for serving many guests at one seating, who want to share the food! As you can see from the owner, who cuts the meat and then presents it to you for approval, you won’t go hungry!
I hope you have enjoyed another doorscursion through beautiful Italy! Until next week, Ciao!
This is just one of many photos in the Thursday Door Collection featured by Norm2.0! Won’t you join in or take a peak at all the doors?