Recently, I visited the tiny ancient countryside town of Montepulciano in Tuscany, and it surely became one of the best towns to visit in Tuscany for me. And what’s the best part? To reach from Rome to Montepulciano by public transportation is absolutely easy and convenient. So for anyone who would prefer avoiding driving on a holiday, it makes for the perfect weekend getaway to visit Montepulciano and get a true rustic Tuscan feel.
Visit Montepulciano: Getting from Rome to Montepulciano
The best way to get from Rome to Montepulicano by public transportation is by getting the regional or intercity train. You will need to get the one from Rome to Florence and get off at the Chiusi-Chianciano Terme station. These trains run regularly throughout the day and cost somewhere between 10 to 21 euro, depending on whether you’re booking in advance or last minute, or if it is an intercity or a regional fast train. You can check for the trains between Rome to Chiusi-Chianciano Terme stations here.
Once you get to Chiusi, you will find a bus straight to city center of Montepulciano. Tickets can be purchased on board for the 50 minute bus ride. There are buses on this route throughout the day, the last one leaving from Chiusi at 20:45 every evening of the week (weekend schedules may differ). You can look up more details and the bus schedule here.
If you prefer to drive it instead, the drive from Rome to Montepulciano takes 2 hours and 15 minutes normally.
What to expect while visiting Montepulciano?
Montepulciano is a small medieval town, perched on top of a hill in the southern part of Tuscany. The ancient city center of the town is filled with pretty squares, renaissance palaces, ancient churches, charming corners and unmatched views of Val d’Orcia and Val d’Chiana. Most of these monuments are free to visit, making for the perfect budget weekend getaway from Rome.
The city is also famous for the typical red Montepulciano wine. The little cantinas dotted through the city center offer free wine tastings of all their local products. So make sure to go into those and try some of the finest wine of the region.
And last but not the least, Montepulciano is well connected by public transportation. That makes it absolutely convenient to visit the neighboring regions of Val d’Orcia, Val d’Chiana and other medieval towns like Pienza in the province of Sienna
Food and drinks to try in Montepulciano:
One of the top reasons to visit Montepulciano has to be amazing food that is locally prepared with the freshest ingredients.
Make sure to try the local variation of pasta called pici which is a thicker version of the spaghetti. The dough for this particular pasta is made with eggs. The local preparation is typically cooked with a red wild boar meat sauce (pici alla cinghiale). Vegetarians can try the simple pici all’aglione which is the pasta with a garlic sauce typical from the region.
Another highly recommended dish to try while visiting this region is the Fiorentina Beef Steak. We tried this local specialty at Osteria Acquacheta which was filled with locals all through the weekend. So make sure to make your reservation in advance. Other restaurants to check out during your visit to the city are Osteria del Conte and Rosso Rubino Trattoria Montepulciano.
The Montepulciano Wine is the most popular thing to try while visiting the region. So make sure to try as much of the Red Montepulciano Wine while here. There are local cantinas all around the city center where you can try the different local wines and even buy some to take back home at discounted rates. We tried the Nobile and the Nobile Riserva along with the local salami made with wild boar and it was all so good.
Budget for the trip:
I’m going to give you a rough breakdown on how much you could expect to spend on the trip.
Train from Rome to Chiusi-Chianciano Terme and return: 10-21 euro per person each way
Bus from Chiusi to Montepulciano and return: 3.50 euro per person one way
Airbnb in Montepulciano: 46 euro and above for an entire apartment per night
Lunch and Dinner with a litre of local wine: 10-12 euro per person (local pasta with a side of bread with wine and/or water)
Wine Tastings: Normally free, though you may be expected to leave a tip if you don’t buy a bottle after the tasting at some places
Entrance fees: Many of the palaces and churches have a free entrance here, so make sure to check them out if you have time
Visit Montepulciano: Additional Things to do
Montepulciano can be the perfect base if you would like to explore the Tuscan countryside. The famous Val d’Orcia and Val d’Chiana regions of Tuscany can be easily reached from here. You will find regular buses to Val d’Orcia from the center of Montepulciano. There you can stroll past the typical Tuscan countryside and you can also visit the house from the Gladiator movie.
Another hidden gem you could check out is Bagni San Filippo. These are natural thermal baths located in Val d’Orcia, the waters of which are rich in calcium and other minerals and make for a perfect spa day. Buses to Bagni San Filippo run only half day from Montepulciano. So make sure to check the timetable and plan accordingly.
It is also possible to visit other Tuscan towns nearby like Pienza and Chianciano Terme. Buses run throughout the day from the center of Montepulciano to these nearby towns.
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