Day 3 Montalcino to Sant’ Antimo (11 km - actually 8 miles)
Today began very sunny, our route took us through the vineyards around Montalcino onto the plateau land above the Villa a Tolli
This is one of the many gates that lead out of the city of Montalcino. We will be returning here later after our day hike.
We finally came across an abandoned house with a huge fig tree, they were ripe😋 so we fueled up on a few.
Then as we were coming out of the woods a cat ran up and started hanging with us. After about 1/2 mile we started to worry he would not go home, \240but soon enough a car came up and stopped for the cat. I promptly pick him up and handed him over to the driver. Apparently he does this often.......
Villa a Tolli is an ancient Hamlet of Etruscan origin, with an high historical value, architectural and landscape situated in the heart of Brunello. Dating from 1200, it's on the Roman road leading the north of Tuscany to the Abbey of Sant'Antimo and Montalcino.
Cistercian Abbey of Sant’ Antimo in its valley setting.
Abbazia di Sant'Antimo, is a former Benedictine monastery in the comune of Montalcino, Tuscany, central Italy. It is approximately 10 km from Montalcino about 9 km from the Via Francigena, the pilgrim route to Rome. After many years of disuse, the abbey was reoccupied in 1992 by a small community of Premonstratensian Canons Regular. Since January 2016, the occupants are a community of monks of the Olivetan Benedictine order.
After a quick lunch we promptly made our way to the bus stop for a ride back to Montalcino. There was no way we were walking back up that hill we did yesterday😏
Mom found a nice seat to wait for the bus
Very very happy not to be walking
Our 1st reward, Day 3 completed
After we cleaned up, yup you guessed it we went for a walk around town. Found some markets and then found a dinner place that served food before 7pm.
The first walls of the town were built in the 13th century. The fortress, built in 1361 atop the highest point of the town, was designed with a pentagonal layout. Though the town itself was eventually conquered, the fortress itself never submitted, an admirable feat, considering the size of the Sienese and Florentine forces that besieged Montalcino at varying intervals.
No idea what this look is all about 🙃
Moms Riserva Brunello Wine - reward #2
(Someone has to do the research)
This is the view from our room below
Here is a little bit of history about Montalcino
The hill upon which Montalcino sits has probably been settled since Etruscan times. Its first mention in historical documents in 814 AD suggests there was a church here in the 9th century, most likely built by monks associated with the nearby Abbey of Sant'Antimo. The population grew suddenly in the middle of the tenth century, when people fleeing the nearby town of Roselle took up residence in the town.
The town takes its name from a variety of oak tree that once covered the terrain. The very high site of the town offers stunning views over the Asso, Ombrone and Arbia valleys of Tuscany, dotted with silvery olive orchards, vineyards, fields and villages. The lower slopes of the Montalcino hill itself are dominated by highly productive vines and olive orchards.
During medieval times the city was known for its tanneries and for the shoes and other leather goods that were made from the high-quality leathers that were produced there. As time went by, many medieval hill towns, including Montalcino, went into serious economic decline.
In the case of Montalcino, gradual economic decline has recently been reversed by economic growth due to the increasing popularity of the town's famous wine Brunello di Montalcino, made from the sangiovese grosso grapes grown within the comune. The number of producers of the wine has grown from only 11 in the 1960s to more than 200 today, producing some 330,000 cases of the Brunello wine annually. Brunello was the first wine to be awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status. In addition to Brunello di Montalcino, which must be aged five years prior to release, 6 years for the Riserva, Rosso di Montalcino (DOC), made from sangiovese grosso grapes and aged one year, and a variety of Super Tuscan wines are also produced within the comune, as well as the Moscadello sweet white wines for which it was most famous until the development of the Brunello series.