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Montalcino

To outsiders, it’s the prestigious Brunello de Montalcino wine that defines this tiny Tuscan outpost.
From a distance Montalcino looks like a medieval Sienese painting, so little has changed since its heyday. The town is bathed in a russet glow at sunset but changes with the seasons. In spring, the surrounding countryside area is lime green, but yellow rape seed, poppies, sunflowers and grapes soon add different hues. To many, Montalcino is the most Sienese town in the province and the locals are treated with particular respect. Its history is a microcosm of all Sienese history. The town has been known as “the last rock of communal freedom” since its time as the Sienese capital in exile between 1555 and 1559. After the fall of Siena, exiles gathered around the Sienese flag. As a reward, Montalcinesi standard bearers have the pride of place in the procession preceding the Palio in Siena.

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