Luxury and boutique hotels in Montalcino
Vines, olive trees, delightfully crumbling, centuries-old buildings: Montalcino, a hilltop town in the radiant Val d’Orcia, ticks all Tuscan boxes. It cultivated its fairy-tale mien throughout mediaeval times, but it’s not stuck in the past, thanks to its steady flow of Brunello di Montalcino wine (the first to be awarded DOCG status, no less), a rich red that’s the commune’s lifeblood. Close to Siena and Pisa, it’s a handy base for seeing the region’s treasures, but there’s plenty to keep you put, whether sipping or strolling: buildings with stories to tell, sociable enoteche and classic Tuscan views.
When to go
Spring (March to May) and autumn (September to October) are Tuscany’s sweet spots, when there are fewer crowds and clement weather. Gourmands should aim for the latter to try and catch truffle-snuffling season.
PlanesFlorence is the nearest international airport, around a 90-minute drive away; Pisa is the next nearest, around a two-hour journey from Montalcino. Both are well-served from the UK and other European cities by a wide range of airlines.
TrainsRail links are excellent and inexpensive in Italy. Trenitalia will take you from Rome to Florence to Siena (a journey of around three hours), from where you can catch a bus to Montalcino (be sure to purchase a ticket from one of Siena’s tabaccaio).
AutomobilesEmbrace cliché and hire a classic set of top-down wheels for panning-shot scenes with dramatic backdrops. It’s possible to travel around Tuscany by bus and train, but driving is the key to reaching those hidden corners and tucked-away trattorias.