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View of Montalcino on a hill. You can see olive groves and a vineyard in the foreground.

Montalcino, Italy – A Traveler’s Guide To Visiting The Village Of Brunello Wine

Last updated on November 27th, 2023

Even though all the Tuscan Medieval villages seem to be very similar, they are very different to navigate from a practical point of view. You can’t rely on guides and general tips for traveling in Tuscany but rather, it’s important to inform yourself about the specifics of Montalcino before your visit.

I have been visiting Montalcino for over a decade now, first as a tourist and now several times a year for work, giving me first-hand experience in terms of arriving, parking, visiting with children and touring Montalcino, Italy.

In this guide, I will take you through all the practical information you need for visiting Montalcino, Italy including:

  • When to visit and how to arrive
  • Parking in Montalcino
  • Montalcino with kids
  • Montalcino wineries
  • Montalcino restaurants
  • Montalcino wine bars
  • Festivals in Montalcino

How To Pronounce Montalcino

Montalcino is pronounced mohn-tahl-chee-noh in Italian

Listen to the pronunciation of Montalcino here:

Where Is Montalcino?

Two people walk down a path past young cypress trees and the Tuscan countryside on a sunny day.

Montalcino is located in Southern Tuscany, south of Siena and West of Pienza, in the middle of the idyllic Val d’Orcia countryside, famous for its world-renowned Brunello di Montalcino wine. 

This Medieval village is enclosed by its ancient fortified walls, ruled by the once mighty Fortress overlooking the surrounding villages nestled between perfectly curated vineyards and classic Tuscan cypress lined roads. 

Why Visit Montalcino?

Bottle of Santa Giulia Brunello di Montacino wine inside a wooden box.
  • The wine: in particular the Rosso di Montalcino (Montalcino red) and Brunello di Montalcino, both made in the surrounding vineyards.
  • Can be visited in just a couple of hours.
  • En-route to the Tuscan coastline.
  • Pairs well with other small towns in Southern Tuscany such as Montepulciano, San Quirico d’Orcia, Bagno Vignoni or Pienza
  • Strategic location for using as a basepoint in Tuscany to explore other areas. 

When To Visit Montalcino

Boy watches with mouth open as the grapes are dumped into a large tank during the grape harvest in Montalcino.

I have been to Montalcino in all four seasons and I firmly believe that the fall is the absolute most beautiful time to visit because of the colors and grape harvest.

In late September and through October, the colors have come back to live, the summer heat is no longer a problem and the olive harvest and grape harvest are well underway. These harvests are such a fun activity to be a part of if you get in touch with Montalcino wineries prior to your visit (especially for children). 

If you are really looking to avoid large crowds, stick to the ladder part of October when both the crowds and prices have gone down in the area.

How To Get To Montalcino

Large sign for MONTALCINO on stone wall with altitude.

To arrive in Montalcino, you really need to rent a car and drive. There is no train station nor is it well connected to buses (there are buses but you often have to take more than one and no one wants to lug their bags up and down an enormous bus). 

Renting a car is relatively easy to do in Rome, Florence, Pisa or even Chiusi. In fact, part of the Montalcino experience is driving to and from the city, taking in the breathtaking views and stopping at the many panoramic viewpoints to take photographs. 

Parking In Montalcino

Montalcino has several parking lots (around 8 or 9!) located outside the city walls. The closest and most convenient is the lot located right outside the Fortezza. 

You must pay at most lots at the independent standing machines and display the ticket in your car’s dashboard. 

Tourist Office In Montalcino

The tourist office in Montalcino is located just past the main square, Piazza del Popolo in Costa del Municipio, 1.

Good To Know: The tourist office, like most in Italy, close for lunch, usually from around 1:00 pm to 3:00-3:30 pm. 

Montalcino With Kids

Families in the square in Montalcino. Colorful art on one wall and flags wave from a pillar.

Montalcino is not the best village to visit in Southern Tuscany with children because the most fun and famous activity, based around the wine industry and the Montalcino wineries around the village, counts minors out. 

Within the village walls there isn’t actually that much to do with children. It’s fun to walk around but after an hour or so, you have seen it all, including the Fortress and small garden. 

Good To Know: Montalcino is one of the hilliest towns along with Montepulciano. Keep this in mind if you have strollers. The main drags aren’t too steep but to get up to the Fortress, it’s a bit of a climb! 

My biggest suggestion is to come to Montalcino with kids during a festival, where it will be much more lively and kids will more likely have fun running around and listening to music with the locals. 

Learn More: You may also like to read Montepulciano vs Montalcino – Which Should You Visit?

Montalcino Wineries

Vineyards at Siro Pacenti winery with an amazing view of Montalcino on the hill in the background.

Montalcino has over 250 wineries in the sprawling countryside surrounding the small village. Yes, that is an overwhelming number and certainly hard to wrap your head around! Below are my favorite Montalcino wineries, all of which I expand upon in My Top 5 Montalcino Wineries.

Montalcino WineryAddressBest ForBooking Required
Siro Pacenti Podere Pelagrilli, 53024 MontalcinoExpert wine enthusiasts and intimate experienceYes – info@siropacenti.it
FuligniStrada Provinciale del Brunello, 45 53024 MontalcinoSmall groupsYes – info@fuligni.it
Conti Costanti Localita’ Colle Al Matrichese, 53024 MontalcinoIntimate and tailor-made experiencesYes – info@costanti.it
AltesinoLocalità Altesino n.54, 53024 MontalcinoLarger groups (up to 50)Yes – info@altesino.it
Santa GiuliaLocalità Santa Giulia, 48, 53024 Torrenieri, MontalcinoLunch paired with estate and wine cellar visitYes – info@santagiuliamontalcino.it

Travelers Tip: Interested in when and how best to go wine tasting in Italy? Read about Wine Tasting in Tuscany and Where to Drink Wine in Italy.

Montalcino Restaurants

Plate of pasta on a white plate on a paper placemat. There is cutlery and water on the table.
My lunch at La Sosta

Montalcino is full of great restaurants despite its small size, the majority of which are located within the village walls. For a comprehensive guide to Montalcino restaurants, read My Top Montalcino Restaurants

RestaurantAddressBooking SuggestedBest ForRest Day
Boccon DivinoVia Traversa dei Monti, 201YesPanoramic viewsTuesday
Re di MacchieVia Soccorso Saloni, 21YesAuthentic Italian settingThursday
Ristorante Il GiglioVia Soccorso Saloni, 5YesSophisticated dinner Closed for lunch
La SostaVia Ricasoli, 48NoCasual mealsOpen 7 days/week
Caffè Fiaschetteria ItalianaPiazza del Popolo, 6NoCasual Lunch / AperitivoThursday
Vineria Le PotazzinePiazza Giuseppe Garibaldi, 9NoCasual meals & FamiliesThursday

Montalcino Wine Bars

People look at the menu outside the Grotta del Brunello in Montalcino, Italy.

Montalcino is full of various wine bars or enoteche, making it hard to choose which one is right for you. These are my favorites:

Montalcino Wine BarAddressBest For
Grotta Del BrunelloCosta di Piazza Garibaldi, 3Tête-à-tête tastings (one on one)
Enoteca La FortezzaPiazzale Fortezza, 9One of a kind setting within the fortezza
Wine Bar BistroVia Ricasoli, 1 (located inside museum inside cloister)Pairing with museum visit / Outdoor seating in Cloister
Enoteca PierangioliPiazza del Popolo, 16Best intimate experience

Festivals In Montalcino

Sign for 65th Sagra del Tordo in Montalcino, Italy.

Sagra Del Tordo

The Sagra del tordo is an annual food festival held at the end of October every year in celebration of the Tordo, a once commonly hunted and eaten bird in Montalcino.

Nowadays, this bird isn’t as common and other Tuscan foods are enjoyed instead, all centered around parades, music and the archery competition between the Montalcino neighborhoods. 

It’s a full weekend, starting on Friday evening and going through Sunday evening. 

Wine and Jazz Festival 

Piazza in Montalcino. You can see clock tower and other buildings.

On the last weekend in July, Montalcino plays host to the annual wine and jazz festival in which the town is transformed into an outdoor venue for various jazz performances and food and wine tastings. 

The program changes from year to year. Check the official website for a full schedule and calendar of events. This is definitely the most lively time to visit Montalcino, especially if you are with children. 

People walk down a street in Montalcino on a sunny day. Man sweeping the sidewalk on left.

Planning Tip: If you plan on visiting Montalcino in this time period, make sure you make reservations for everything weeks in advance, and for accommodations, months in advance!

Other Towns To Visit Near Montalcino

An empty square in San Quirico d'Orcia. You can see a church, a statue of two men wrestling, and the European and Italian flags hanging from building on right.
San Quirico d’Orcia makes a perfect day-trip from Montalcino, just 20 minutes away

If you are planning a trip to Montalcino and wondering how to fill the rest of your time, consider these day trips to fill your day:

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