Large wooden wine barrels stacked in a stone corridor at the Talosa winery in Italy.
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10 Best Things To Do In Montepulciano With Kids + Where To Eat Close by

Last updated on March 12th, 2024

If you are visiting Montepulciano with kids, it’s important to know ahead of time what this small town has to offer besides the world-famous wine that we all know and love from Montepulciano. 

I am a mom of four, living just outside of Montepulciano for over ten years. Most of our weekday lives revolve around this small town, giving me first hand knowledge about all the best activities and things to do in Montepulciano with kids. 

I first visited Montepulciano as a tourist but now that I live here, I know the ins and outs of navigating this small city with four rascals trailing behind!

Keep these kid-friendly activities handy and I can guarantee your kids will have a ball in Montepulciano! No matter your agenda or time frame, there is something for every age group and interest for both adults and kids.

General Info: If you are looking for practical information about Montepulciano or the best things to do in Montepulciano in general, read A Local’s Guide to Montepulciano, Italy and The Best Things to Do in Montepulciano.

Visit The Fortezza Playground

Metal statue of horse in garden area in Montepulciano. There are low hedges and trees.

Although a bit of a hike, chances are you will be visiting Piazza Grande on your trip to Montepulciano and the playground at the Fortezza is just around the corner. 

This is my kids’ favorite of the two playgrounds in Montepulciano with a small garden maze to run around in that is well shaded. The playground has a couple small structures, including a swingset and has several enormous animal structures (not for climbing, however). 

There is also a small kiosk bar but I am never quite sure of the hours. Sometimes it’s open, sometimes, it’s not! Very Italian. And of course, there is no sign.  For a meal, head to Osteria Acquacheta, not far from the Fortezza.

Kids playground shaded by tall trees in Montepulciano. You can see the fortezza in the back right.

The best time to visit this park is after school lets out around 5:00 pm because this is when all the locals come out to play. I guarantee that even though your kids might not speak a lick of Italian, they will find some way to jump in and join in with the Italian kids and play. 

Cool Off At The Giardini di PoggioFanti

Playground with sandbox in Montepulciano, Italy.

This is the second green space with a small playground in Montepulciano, located at the base of the town, just outside Porta al Prato. My kids don’t like this as much as the one up top but it does have its pros. 

I like it because it’s small and I can easily keep my eyes on the kids. There is also a huge sandpit in the middle that my two and three year old could spend hours in. 

They are building a large, outdoor kiosk bar right next to the park as well. 

Lunch Recommendation: If you are looking for an easy going lunch option, consider one of my top picks for Montepulciano Takeaway Lunch Options and have a picnic at this park. Sometimes with kids, it’s just easier this way than at a sitdown restaurant. Pizzeria Linda is a good bet and the bakery Il Forno del Borgo makes delicious schiacciata and sandwiches.

Hit The Outdoor Market

Man looking at stalls at outdoor market in Italy. You can see plants and clothing for sale.

Walking around an open air market is one of our favorite things to do in Italy with kids because it allows them to run free while I can get a bit of shopping in. If you are here as a tourist, it’s equally a good opportunity to do the same. 

vendor from side view at market outdoors with various people in front of counter with various food products stacked high such as meat, cheese and porchetta.

The open air market in Montepulciano is huge with around 40 vendors selling a variety of goods, food and souvenirs along with plenty of snacks and street food options. My boys always get the porchetta panino made with freshly roasted pork seasoned with local herbs. The vendors selling porchetta are on the back side of the market. 

The Montepulciano market is only open on Thursday mornings from 8:00 to around 12:30 pm. 

Visit The Underground Wineries

Large wine barrels line two sides of a cantina in Montepulciano, Italy.

Many of Montepulciano’s historic cantine offer free underground wine cellar tours but the best one for kids is at Cantina Ercolani, at the base of Montepuliciano. 

The tour is free but it’s guided. You cannot just do it on your own. The reason we liked this one the best is because not only is this the underground storage and aging room for the wine but also a mini museum with armor, cisterns and even a little wishing well. 

A close second is the underground cellars of the Cantina Talosa, just outside of Piazza Grande. I would make your decision based on your location. If you plan on being towards the base of Montepulciano just after lunch, stick with Ercolani but if you are at the top, cool off underground at Fattoria della Talosa.

Eat Gelato

hand holding a cone with chocolate and dark brown coffee ice cream in a cone at arms reach infront of sgarbi sign outside of gelateria on street with beige walls.

What better way to beat the heat than with gelato? Our favorite is Sgarbi, located towards the base of Montepulciano. Their flavors change daily and they make gelato alternatives for those who are looking for something else such as smoothies and juices.

My favorites are the fruit flavors but my boys get the stracciatella (chocolate chip ice cream) every time and say it’s the best ever!

Run Free In Piazza Grande

Piazza Grande, empty, in Montepulciano, Italy.

Piazza Grande is Montepulciano’s largest and most famous square, great for running around while adults sit back and relax at the central bar or at the Contucci enoteca.

Piazza Grande is where you will find the town hall with the clock tower, the Cathedral of the Assumption, Palazzo dei Capitani del Popolo, and the Well of the Grifi and the Lions. It’s also the home of Montepulciano’s festive Christmas Market – one of the best ones in Tuscany.

The Cathedral is closed due to restoration and won’t be open for several years.

This piazza is where all the local children come out and play as the day comes to a close in the afternoon around 5:00 pm. This is my family’s favorite time to hang out here as well. My husband and I can have a glass of wine or and the kids get to play. For food, check out the Enoteca of Contucci in Piazza Grande or just down the road Il Teatro (more formal) or Osteria Acquacheta.

Travelers Tip: To get to Piazza Grande, there is a lot of uphill walking. If you can’t manage this, consider the bus or the trolley. The AutoLinee Toscane have a bus that will bring you up to Piazza Grande but it’s best to check out the website for an up-to-date schedule. 

Climb the Clock Tower on Palazzo Comunale

Empty Piazza Grande in Montepulciano. You can see the bell tower and church on left and town hall and clock tower on right.

Climbing the clock tower is the best way to kill a bit of time and take some beautiful pictures of the Val d’Orcia valley. 

Climbing the bell tower isn’t too challenging but is certainly worth noting that after getting to the top of Piazza Grande at the top of Montepulciano, your kids might not feel like climbing unless they have some snacks. 

Before the climb, rest your legs at the central bar located on the square where you can order something light to eat, coffee and a wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages. I don’t suggest this bar for meals, however. 

The tower is open to climb from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm but please visit the official website for ticket pricing and seasonal hours, which may change. 

Learn About Our Solar System

Solar system sign with QR code on a stone wall in Montepulciano.

This is more an activity to do with kids in Montepulciano as you make your way up to Piazza Grande through the city streets. Keep your eyes peeled with small “Solar System” signs, which you can scan with your phone and read about the various planets in relation to Montepulciano (in both Italian and English).

I had a hard time navigating the website on my phone the first time but I do think it’s a great idea, especially for older kids who might be ‘over’ walking around old Italian villages. My 9-year old had fun with this but my 7-year old didn’t seem to pay much attention to what it had to say. 

See Pulcinella Strike The Clock

Clock tower in Montepulciano with Pulcinella statue on top ready to hit the bell.

Pulcinella is an iconic puppet character from Naples that all Italian children know and love. Here in Montepulciano, there is an animated statue of him ringing the bell at every hour above the bell tower next to the Sant’Agostino Church. 

When I first came to Montepulciano with my kids, we made it a game to see who could spot him first. Naturally, I had looked it up already but I was surprised how quickly my kids spied him! 

Good To Know: One of the three public restrooms is located just to the right of the church. If you would like cleaner facilities, get a coffee at the bar below Pulcinella (one of my favorite cafés in Montepulciano) and use the restroom after paying. 

Take A Trolley Tour Of Montepulciano

Hand holding tour brochure for Montepulciano, Italy.

One of the most fun things for kids in Montepulciano is the trolley ride. You can’t miss it: it’s a bright red trolly that goes up and down the main streets of Montepulciano carrying tourists to and from the base of the village. 

It’s a little corny but honestly, my kids love it and you can tell everyone on it is having a ball. If you are interested in showing your kids the Temple of San Biagio, a true architectural masterpiece located just outside of Montepulciano, the trolly stops along the way too. 

The trolley is very flexible, leaving every 20-40 minutes from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm from the base of Montepulciano outside of Porta al Prato.

Woman speaking to driver of a red trolley in the Piazza Grande in Montepulciano, Italy.

The trolley makes four stops including the starting point of Sant’Agnese, Piazza Grande, Tempio di San Biagio and Pulcinella (upon request). If you sit for the whole tour from start to finish without getting off for a break, it lasts about 30 minutes but your ticket is ‘hop on, hop off’, allowing you to get on and off at the four stops. 

Good To Know: The trolley is free for children under three years of age. 

Picnic At Cugusi

Man walks down path with picnic basket in the Tuscan countryside.
My dad carrying our picnic out to our table at the Cugusi cheese shop in Montepulciano.

One of the most fun activities I have done in Montepulciano with my kids is visit the Cugusi Caseficio or cheese factory, just outside of Montepulciano past the Temple of San Biagio and have a picnic outside. 

Ever since I first visited two years ago, I recommend this activity to everyone and have been back several times. 

Although you cannot see how the cheese is made, Cugusi offers a super fun picnic formula for their guests, which my kids love. And when my kids are happy, so am I!

Cheese board with sliced pecorino, ricotta, and bread.
The various pecorino cheeses we chose for our picnic at Cugusi.

How a picnic at Cugusi works:

  • Order whatever cheese, cured meats, wine, drinks, condiments, etc. and they will put a picnic basket together for you with cups, bread, a cutting board and cutlery. 
  • Bring it to one of their outdoor picnic areas (table or in grass) and indulge in one of the best things to do in Montepulciano, which is still relatively undiscovered.
  • While you eat, kids can run freely and you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of Montepulciano with the farm’s sheep grazing in the field just beyond the picnic site. 

Good To Know: Interested in bringing cheese home? Ask for it sottovuoto, meaning vacuum packed and you should have no problems bringing it overseas (check with individual country regulations beforehand). 

My Tips For Traveling To Montepulciano With Kids

Sign for La Briciola restaurant on a wooden bench, surrounded by ivy.
  • Note that most restaurants don’t open until around 7:00 pm. To keep kids happy, sit down for an aperitivo at one of the many enoteche and order a cheese tagliere or charcuterie board
  • Children are welcome in all wineries and enotecas if adults are looking to go wine tasting (including in wineries outside of town like Avignonesi)
  • Children’s menus are not a typical thing but you can always ask for a pasta in bianco (with butter and cheese) or al pomodoro (with tomato sauce).
  • Italian children typically go to bed much later than in America. As a mom of four in Italy, I generally put my kids to bed early according to American standards but on the weekends it’s fun to let my kids out and play late in the square with the other kids. Do the same!
  • Bars can heat up water for you if you need it for a bottle. Just ask!
  • Ask for baby one-scoop gelato for your very little ones.
  • Consider bike rentals if you have older children
  • Fill up water bottles at the water fountains located throughout town. The water is potable. 
  • If you feel overwhelmed planning your stay in Montepulciano, read my guides to a Half Day in Montepulciano and One Day in Montepulciano.

Other Towns To Visit Near Montepulciano With Kids

Church and bell tower in Italian village. Statue of two men wrestling in front of church.
San Quirico d’Orcia is just 30 minutes away from Montepulciano, making it a great town to combine with your Montepulciano

If you are planning a trip to Montepulciano and wondering how to fill the rest of your time with children these are other small towns in the area that can be combined with a visit to Montepulciano: