Montalcino – 30 km away from Monticchiello
From a height of 567 meters dominating the surrounding countryside, Montalcino perches on a hill on which stands the mighty fortress fourteenth century.
In the maze of alleys, craft shops, small cafes and retailers of traditional food products (in addition to wine are famous honey and local biscuits called “dead bones”), to see are the beautiful Palazzo Comunale, the Bishop’s Palace which houses museums of Montalcino (the diocesan, the Civic and the archaeological works by important artists of the Sienese XIII-XVI centuries, including Bartalo Fredi, Il Sodoma, Bartolomeo Neroni), the antique Crucifix of Saint Antimo, from the middle of 1100, the churches of St. Augustine, St. Francis and St. Egidio all built between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, as well as the sanctuary of the Madonna del Soccorso.
Just outside the town, near Castelnuovo Abbate, in the valley of Starcia, we find the Romanesque Abbey of St. Antimo, intimate and impressive temple enveloped in an almost enchanted atmosphere, founded by Charlemagne in 781.
Numerous are the castles of the territory of Montalcino: among all worth a mention that of Poggio alle Mura, of Lombard origin.
Montalcino undoubtedly lives of many souls. Symbol of the Sienese, in 1555 offered the Republican government the last refuge against the empire of Charles V, is, by contrast, the extreme offshoot of the soil of the woods before the Sienese Maremma and the steep Amiata Mountain: home of Brunello wine called the best and most famous Italian wine.
Bagno Vignoni – 14 km away from Monticchiello
With its rarefied atmosphere, with the hot vapors that are given off by the waters of the great square, is the pride of San Quirico.
Getting in Bagno Vignoni is how to go beyond the wall of time, like stepping into a situation that is completely divorced from our century, leaving everything behind. You can really breathe new air, or rather old ancient… The bath from ‘500 took St. Catherine of Siena and Lorenzo de’ Medici, called the Magnificent. You can admire one of the most beautiful views in the area: the bends of the river Orcia, sometimes warm and soothing, suddenly becomes hostile and inaccessible; the severity of Rocca d’Orcia, looking right into the valley, the dark profile of the Castle of Ripa.
Behind the village you can see Vignoni Alto, a small village nestled in the green hills and hidden, but before stands in the position of dominating the entire Val d’Orcia, Monte Amiata, popular tourist destination for summer and winter holidays, that seems to remind everyone of his menacing volcanic origins.