Montalcino vs Montepulciano

Apr 29th, 2005, 08:26 PM
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Montalcino vs Montepulciano

Where would you stay between the two for 4 nights after having spent a week in the Chianti region? We haven't yet explored southern Tuscany and can't decide. Will have a car, but want to be able to try a few different restaurants at night in town without having to drive too far. And will take day trips to Pienza, San Quirico, possibly Umbria, etc.

Thanks in advance.
JAFA is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 10:11 PM
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Do you like Vin Nobile or Brunello. Both towns have what you want except if you want to go to Umbria then Montepulciano is probably better. I like Montalcino better. Feel free to e-mail if you have questions.
Henry is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 03:35 AM
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There can be no real debate about which is the more atmospheric and beautiful town: It is Montepulciano.

You can dine well in Montepulciano, too -- I know Montalcino only from day tripping.

But little Montalcino has many enthusiasts and it is closer to the other sites of the wild Val d Orcia.

If you want to visit Umbria, the convenience of the more easterly location is significant.

And in the end: they are only about an hour apart, max.
tedgale is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 05:23 AM
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Love Montepulciano -- lots to see and do in the city. We day tripped to Montalcino, and my reaction was "this is it?"

A lot of raves concerning the Brunello in Montalcino. It's very good, but very pricy. For a better bang for the buck IMO is the Nobile di Montepulciano. You can get a 97 Reserve for about 20 Euro.
Budman is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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How were the '97 Vino Nobile's?

I'm not a fan of the Brunello's, either (even the 97s nor the 99s) - they are really overpriced for simply OK wines. The Super Tuscans are the way to go in Tuscany.
makemyday is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 11:06 AM
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For the trips you hope to take, Montepulciano might make more sense. I enjoyed Montalcino more, however. It is smaller and more personal, imho. Good luck deciding!
hlocke1 is offline  
Apr 30th, 2005, 01:00 PM
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Like tedgale said, Montepulciano is the prettier town, but it's streets are very steep. If you have walking problems or tire easily, it might wear you out a little. La Grotta just outside of Montepulciano is our favorite mid-range restaurant in the area. If you want to splurge, there is an excellent Michelin 1 star restaurant in a pretty setting in the countryside west of Montalcino (too far to drive there from Montepulciano for dinner). For an hour or more in any direction from Montalcino, the countryside is spectacular. Same from Montepulciano, except northeast and east directions. The closer you get to the A1 it's not so pretty. Montalcino has quicker access to Siena, but Montepulciano is closer to Perugia, Gubbio, Assisi, Cortona, & Arezzo.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
May 1st, 2005, 02:05 PM
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WOW! You've all been so helpful. Thanks so much.

We're leaning more toward Montepulciano for a couple of reasons, including: bang for the buck in terms of wines (love both Vin Nobile and Brunello, Henry), location, size of town (we stayed in Trevi a few years back and my husband found it "too small" in terms of things to do at night), and location. No prob with walking uphill, either. But I have heard Montalcino is steep too, no?

And, if we do make Montepulciano our base, we plan to spend at least a day in Montalcino.

Would love any other restaurant and/or shop recos. We love anything to do with food, cheese, wine, cooking, etc.

Any Montepulciano hotel recos?

Thanks again!
JAFA is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 02:23 PM
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Too bad you can't spend a week. Several of us here have discovered the wonderful apartments at al Poggiolo in Montepulciano, but I believe they are strictly by the week. I have no hotel recommendations, but I also agree that the town of Montepulciano is much more "atmospheric" than Montalcino.

And the '97 Nobiles are the BEST!

I often joke when ordering wine in Italy that "I never met a Nobile I didn't like" and it becomes my standard order for a good wine. But I've had some Brunellos that I actually didn't like (but admittedly when they are good -- they are VERY good.)
Patrick is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 03:59 PM
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In Montalcino, be sure to try Il Grappolo Blu for a meal... It's just off the main piazza, Piazza del Poppolo. There are lots of great little shops in the same area. We didn't think it was too steep. Enjoy!
hlocke1 is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 05:22 PM
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We stayed in Montepulciano at al poggiolo in May, 2004 for only 4 nights. Don't know if they still allow less than one week or not, but it is a great place to stay.

We really enjoyed Montepulciano.

granbury is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 05:47 PM
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You might enjoy a day trip to Cortona, also...we spent a week there with day trips elsewhere & loved it.
NatalieM is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 07:45 PM
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I have requested 4 nights at al Poggiolo apts., and await their reply. I've also requested reservations at a few of the 3* hotels in the town center.

We definitely plan to take a day trip to Cortona.

Thanks for the great advice and recos. Looking forward to the Nobile!
JAFA is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 07:50 PM
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That's interesting about the four nights at al Poggiolo. It's a great place -- hope they do it for you.
Patrick is offline  
May 1st, 2005, 08:34 PM
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Another short trip is to Montechiello just south of Montepulciano. Our recommendation is for the restaurant "La Taverna"
Marycang is offline  
May 2nd, 2005, 12:36 AM
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No question~Montepulciano!
PamSF is offline  
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