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Ancient Abbeys
Ancient Abbeys near Montelandi

Monte Olivetto as shown ten kilometres north of us was built on a tuffa outcrop. The Cloisters have frescoes by Sodoma. There is a good restaurant in and outside the gatehouse. You can walk there in a morning but it is about 10 kilometres. The beautiful abbey of Sant Antimo near Montalcino was built in marble alabaster and travertine. It has a translucent quality and stands alone in a lovely valley.

Bagno Vignoni
Bagno Vignoni

Just south of San Quirico d'Orcia is an old spa village with the remains of a Roman Baths. Have a bath in the hot spring pools or in the hotel swimming pool. You can walk up the very pretty valley below the falls to Catello d'Orcia, a castle with restaurant.
Close to home there is a beauty therapy centre at Pieve A Salti, the estate that borders on Montelandi.

Hill Towns
Beautiful Hill near Montelandi

Beautiful Hill Towns. Perhaps the most famous is Pienza, the birthplace of Pope Pius II, who rebuilt his village as miniature city with papal palace and garden, Cathedral and Cardinals palaces. Montepulciano, a few kilometres away is equally fascinating and the centre for Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, a great rival to the Montalcino rosso.

Buonconvento
Buonconvento near Montelandi

Our local walled town with a great variety of shops, typical Tuscan trattoria, bars and cafés. In an art deco palazzo there is a gallery and inside the walls a museum. On Saturdays there is a market. It is a bustling little town that still has its butchers and bakers, grocers and fruiterers, artisan workshops and fashion shops.

Florence
Florence near Montelandi

You can catch the approximately 8.30am train from Buonconvento and one around 5pm to return. This will place you in the very centre of Florence at little cost and without the problems of driving and parking in the city. Buy your tickets in the Tobaccaio in Buonconvento and remember to punch them in the little yellow box on the platform.

Gardens to Visit
Gardens to visit near Montelandi

La Foce in the Val d'Orcia was formerly the home of the late Marchesa d'Origo (Iris Origo) the author. It has very interesting gardens designed by Cecil Pinset that are open on Wednesday afternoons.

There is a historic Renaissance garden in its original form at a charming little walled town called San Quirico d'Orcia. There is a rose garden, a beautiful Romanesque church and a huge Papal palace. The piazza is like a stage set for an opera with church, campanile, cafés and shops.

Montalcino
Montalcino near Montelandi

We look across the valley to Montalcino, the historic miniature city in the centre of the vinyards famous for Brunello di Montalcino, one of the very finest wines in Italy. There is an enoteca in the castle where you can sample many wines. There are often colourful events involving lots of dressing up, flag throwing and above all, eating. The abbey shown above is St Antimo.

Siena
Siena near Montelandi

Siena is a world famous city overflowing with art, architecture and vitality. Within the city walls little has changes since the cinquecento. The Renaissance had less impact upon Siena than upon Florence so it retains its medieval essence.

It is small enough to walk from end to end and big enough to amaze you with its rich heritage. The famous square is the Campo lined with restaurants and cafés and the location for the Palio in July and August every year.

Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting near Montelandi

Just across the valley you will see the Castle of Altesino, the centre of a vineyard that you can visit and that sells direct. You reach it off the Buonconvento to Montalcino road.

Perhaps the largest vineyard is Banfi at Castello di Poggio alle Mura well the other side of Montalcino. It is the one that lacocca former Ford Vice President, poured millions into years ago and it has restaurants, an olive oil press, a castle and large wine cellars to visit. There are over a hundred vineyards so you could do a lot of tasting!