Montalcino Italy home of Brunello, and the Thrush Food Festival

Montalcino Italy is an ancient medieval village in the hills of the Val d'Orcia and is a UNESCO Heritage Site. Famous for its architecture, Thrush Food Festival and Brunello; Italy's best known and loved red wine.

Places to See in Montalcino Italy

Castle of Montalcino The first thing you notice about this wonderful little village is the imposing castle that which is still standing.

castle of Montelcino , started in 1361 has a pentagonal plan with towers at all the corners and a complete circular walkway.

Visit the castle, and see a wonderful view from the top of terracotta rooftops and a patchwork quilt of fields spread below as far as the eye can see.

The town walls of Montalcino Italy still stand and walking along the ramparts is a treat as again you can see wonderful views all round from here.

Not only was the castle built on top of the town walls, but you will also come across a Medieval tower, the keep of San Giovanni and an ancient basilica.

Montalcino, Italy

The town of Montalicino, Italy

There are several churches in Montalcino that are worth a visit. There is the neo-classical catherdral of San Salvatore and the sanctuary of Modonna del Soccorso and San Egidio church. This is a church that is dedicated to the town's patron saint.

Other places to visit while in Montelcino Italy is the Medieval town hall that was built in the late 13th century with its very tall bell tower and bells which still strikes the hour, every hour.

Food and Wine of Montalcino Italy

Montalcino and Brunello wine go hand in hand. It is a town admired for its prized wines. However, besides the nectar of Brunello you can also find good olive oil, typical cured meats, artisan cheeses, and fine produce that can be bought at the weekly market as well as tasted in the many restaurants in the area.

There are also 2 important food festivals that take place in Montalcino Italy. There is the honey festival that takes place in the fortress during the first weekend of September, and the Thrush Food Festival so called because thrushes are set free from the tower of the fortress, and it's a festival that celebrates the local culture with its culinary traditions and recipes during the last Sunday in October.

The Thrush Food Festival in Montalcino Italy

The Thrush Food Festival is also to determine which of the 4 neighbourhoods of Montelcino; Borghetto, Pianello, Ruga and Travaglio, to see who are the better archers.

The festival is a
2 day event . On the Saturday the 4 neighbourhoods wear their own colours and support their archers and gather at the Town Hall to hear who has been nominated to take part in the archery competitions.

The afternoon is taken up with archery trials as to the sequence of the archers on the following day and the distance they will be shooting from. In the evening a 4 course meal is prepared by cooks from each of the 4 neighbourhoods and more than 200 people from each quarter sit down to a 4 course meal of Montalcinesi cusine.

On the Sunday the Thrush Food Festival kicks off with food being offered in the castle keep. Delicious smells of Tuscan food fill the air and it is certainly hard to resist. In addition you can extend the experience by buying a glass of Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino to have with your meal. And don't worry if you arrive late, the food feast takes place all day.

What you don't want to miss is the pageant at midday. This is the morning pageant that starts in the Piazza Cavour.  Gathered in the piazza are the large, white Tuscan
Chianini cattle and Trescone dancers gather in Piazza Cavour to start the procession. Along with the cattle and the dancers there are more than 100 Montalcino citizens dressed in wonderful 14th century medieval costumes, accompanied by drummers and trumpeters, make their way to pay homage and bring gifts from the surrounding areas to the Lady of the Fortress. The pageant proceeds to the Church of Sant Egidio for the Benediction.

After that there is the Sagra del Tordo, a lunch for the 4 neighbourhoods, the archers and other dignitaries followed by the afternoon pageant and then culminating in the archery competition where the quarter archers battle it out for victory to win the silver arrow.