Experiencing Tuscan Iconic Archaeological Landscapes
Location: Conference headquarter – University of Siena San Niccolò Building
Time/Date: 3rd April 2015, 8.15
Cost: Yet to be decided
8:00 a.m. Departure from Siena
9:30 a.m. Arriving in Montalcino
The town has been made incredibly rich and famous by its Brunello wine, one of the world’s best and most appreciated Italian wines. Montalcino was already well-known for its fine red wines during the 15th century. Montalcino is not just wine, it is also very rich in artistic treasures. The historical center is dominated by the mighty and imposing Rocca or fortress built in 1361 to mark the passage of Montalcino under the domination of Siena. The views from its ramparts are spectacular, stretching towards Monte Amiata, across the Crete to Siena, and across all of the Valdorcia and the hills of Maremma.
Another landmark of Montalcino is the tall and slender clock tower that graces thePalazzo dei Priori, the city’s town hall, while below lies the main square known as Piazza del Popolo with its characteristic Gothic loggia. Also worth visiting are the Palazzo Vescovile and the churches of Sant’ Agostino, Sant’ Egidio and San Francesco.
11.30 a.m. Visit to a Brunello winery
The essential component of a great wine growing area, climate represents an important variable in the cultivation of the vine; it is able to impact production, in no small way, in terms of both quantity and quality. The entire area in Montalcino is characterized by high exposure to sun and breezes, with rainfall concentrated mainly in the autumn. A temperate climate that, thanks to dramatic variations between daytime and nightly temperatures, allow the grapes to fully ripen under optimal conditions.
12:30 p.m. Wine tasting and lunch in Brunello winery
3:00 p.m. TWO OPTIONS TRIP
OPTION 1 – PIENZA
3:30 p.m. Arriving in Pienza
This charming village is widely known as the “ideal city of the Renaissance”, the creation of the great humanist Enea Silvio Piccolomini who later became Pope Pius II. Piccolomini had the money and influence to transform his birthplace village, the humble Corsignano, into what he considered the Utopian city should be, exemplifying the principles and philosophy of classical times and of the great Italian Renaissance. The project was designed by the architect Bernardo “il Rossellino” under the guidance of the great humanist Leon Battista Alberti. In only 3 years, a group of amazing and harmonious buildings were completed: the Cathedral, the Papal or Piccolomini Palace, the Town Hall, and the lovely central square onto which all of these buildings look upon. The Duomo or Cattedrale dell’Assunta hosts very fine paintings by the most renowned artists of the period, while the octagonal bell tower standing over the ancient crypt with the same octagonal shape points to the sky. Both dominate the landscape as you view Pienza from afar. The imposing Palazzo Piccolomini to the right of the Duomo has a fantastic Loggia with a delightful hanging garden from which you can enjoy unique and breathtaking panoramas of the Val d’Orcia Valley, from Montalcino to the Mount Amiata.
5:30 p.m. Departure from Pienza
6:30 p.m. Arriving in Siena
OPTION 2 – THERMAL BATH
3:30 p.m. Arriving in Rapolano Terme. Relaxing afternoon in hot springs
5:30 p.m. Departure from Rapolano Terme
6:30 p.m. Arriving in Siena