Montefollonico is a charming stone village, located on the top
of a hill in the province of Siena, easily reachable also from
Montepulciano and Pienza. What to see in Montefollonico?
During the guided tour, you will see the reason why Montefollonico can boast the orange flag, a recognition conferred by the Italian Touring Club for the preservation of the historic center. It is, in fact, a harmonious and well-preserved medieval village, which offers ancient history, paths in the natural park and excellent catering services.
The history of Montefollonico dates back to Neanderthal man, as evidenced by the discovery of some tools in the locality "Il Tondo", something to see just a few steps from the village. Like many other places in the area, Montefollonico was also dominated by Etruscans and Romans, but its true development took place in medieval times, thanks to the Cistercian monks, who founded the parish of San Leonardo and dedicated themselves to the fulling of wool, from hence the Latin name "fullones": hence, Montefollonico. Inside the village we find the 12th century church of San Bartolomeo, while outside the convent of "S. Maria de Folonico".
In Montefollonico you can see the ancient walls, which still retain some cylindrical towers and the Cassero tower, from 1277. Always in opposition to Montepulciano (ally of Florence), in 1543 it surrendered to the imperial army of Charles V and entered be part of the Florentine domain. One thing to see are the three gates, Follonica, Triano and Pianello, which still give access to the historic center. In the main street of the village of Montefollonico we find the public cistern, where three ancient coats of arms are affixed: of the Marquises Coppoli, of the Landucci family and of a religious corporation.
On the top of the hill, near the village of Montefollonico, one thing to see is the park called “il Tondo”, characterized by a forest of cypresses and holm oaks arranged in a circular manner. It is a singular place, which grants the visitor an extraordinary view and absolute peace: it was the place where numerous tools of primitive man were found. Thanks to a particular microclimate, plant essences of extreme interest and rarity grow in the park, like many varieties of wild orchids, which bloom between April and July. To see the surrounding area, from the park “il Tondo” there are numerous paths that descend along the slopes of the hill.
Among the things to see in Montefollonico, do not miss the
celebrations for the ancient tradition of Vin Santo, a fortified
wine that goes well with the Tuscan specialty of cantucci. In
the medieval setting of the village, during the feast of 8
December, the event called "Would you like a drop of Vin Santo?"
During the festival, visitors can see the ancient cellars where, with the well-known Tuscan hospitality, small doses of Vin Santo are offered: a truly precious product. A visit to this Sienese town offers an opportunity to get to know other surrounding villages: what to see near Montefollonico?