Montalcino is one of the many hill-top towns in the Val d’Orcia, located on a high hill 560m above sea level about 13km to the west of San Quirico. Like many of the towns in Tuscany, settlement goes back to Etruscan times, but most of the current buildings date from the Medieval and Renaissance times. As with many other towns, Montalcino was involved in the long struggle between Florence and Sienna, at first being ruled from Sienna, then after 1550 falling to Florence. Today the town is most noted for its wine Brunello di Montalcino, which has grown from just 11 producers in the 1960’s to over 200 today. Wine and tourism have reversed the decline of the town’s fortunes.

The main church is the Cattedrale Di san Salvatore ( Cathedral of the Holy Saviour). Although this originates from the 14th Century, it was rebuilt between 1818 and 1832 in a classical style.

Montalcino Cathedral of the Holy Saviour

Unfortunately when we visited the cathedral was closed, but there is a fine view of the classical facade.

Montalcino Cattedrale di San Salvatore

Montalcino fortress lies at the south end of the hilltop town. Built in 1361 it survived variouos siege attempts by both Siennese or Florentine armies, depending on which side held Montalcino at the time. A very dark thunderstorm passed over the town during our visit which just had to be included in this image of the fort.

Montalcino Fortress

Close to the fort, this tree stood out as a good subject, with the dark clouds of the receding storm in the background.

Montalcino View

There are many other churches in Montalcino, one of which is the Church of Sant Egido, dating from 1325, it has a simple Romanesque facade, but an interesting double bell tower, shown below.

Bell Tower of Saint Egido

Inside the church there is a single aisle adorned with flags and topped with rounded Romanesque arches and a wooden truss ceiling.

Church of Saint Egido Interior

A small shrine to the Madonna, with some candles gave an opportunity for some low light photography.

Shrine To The Madonna

The final church we visited was the Church of Sant Agostino. This was founded as a convent church in the 13th Century by the Augustinian order, but subsequently re-built with a gothic style arch in 1380. The image below was shot through the open door as entrance to the church was through the adjacent museum which we chose not to visit.

Sant Agostino Interior

As with all towns in Tuscany, there are always little corners that offer more intimate photography opportunities, like a small private courtyard and table, or one of the three wheeler delivery vehicles used for manoeuvring around the narrow streets of the town.

Courtyard In Montalcino

Montalcino Street View


Back To Tuscany 2022