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The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

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The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

As a day trip/excursion from Montepulciano I am thinking of Monte Oliveto in the morning, continuing on to Montalcino for lunch time followed by a winery nearby at 3pm.

Will this route give good views of the Crete Senesi or are the better view if one continues on to Siena. I am looking for a slightly deeper hills that a differnet from those alone the road from Montalcino-San Quirico-Pienza (which is my favorite and we will most certainly return that way).

Any advice?

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Province of Siena, Italy
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9 replies to this topic
Montepulciano, Italy
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1. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

If you are looking for massive great craters of clay in deep valleys then around Monte Oliveto as you head east towards Chiusure you'll see some striking examples. Otherwise, coming from Montepulciano through Montisi, San Giovanni the countryside is beautiful but you don't see too much clay. Possibly the most typical "crete" scenery is between Taverne d'Arbia and Asciano where you'll see rolling uplands of clay interspersed with cultivated fields. Remind me again when you are coming for the landscape changes greatly with the seasons. Lots more clay outcrops around la Foce and further south as you go towards Radicofani.

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2. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

Thanks for the quick reply! This is late May. We will be at and around La Foce another day.

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3. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

I was very disappointed with the La Foce garden tour.

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La Foce
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4. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

What did you find lacking? The gardens themselves or the guide?

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5. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

@Francophool - yes, do please share. I didn't visit last year as I feared the gardens wouldn't look at the best as a result of the drought, could that have impacted your enjoyment? Nature was at least two months ahead of itself (I saw broom in blossom in January and poppy fields in March) so even as early as early June, despite the best efforts (and constant watering), I wouldn't be surprised if the gardens weren't looking a bit parched. OP - late May lovely time to come, le Crete should be looking deliciously green in between the clay.

Edited: 31 January 2018, 04:23
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6. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

I wonder if the complaint had to do with the group size. I hear there can be 30-40 people as they don’t put any limits on them. I do hope he come back with more information.

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7. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

I came up with a plan that I think works and moved things from other days (noting my other questions) to this:

This is a Sunday, by the way.

Morning: Crete Drive with stop at the abbey

Lunch: Boccon Di Vin Montalcino followed by stroll around town

Afternoon: San Quirico (if there is the home tour great, if not ok too)

Evening: Pienza.

Thanks for the input!

Still wondering about that La Foce comment...

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8. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

Only one comment and that's Mass is said at 11 o'clock on a Sunday at the abbey. You may enjoy this (there is some singing) but otherwise it will mean you can't really explore the church and the beautifully inlaid choir stalls in the choir. Mass goes on for about an hour. Yes, I'm still very curious to hear about the la Foce tour last year.

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La Foce
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9. Re: The Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore from Montepulciano.

Thanks for the tip on mass time. I think the mass would be nice to see/here but we are flexible. I am interested in a nice scenic drive and the overall atmosphere of the place.

Yeah, that La Foce bomb without explanation was frustrating. I have a private tour booked so I will find out for myself in May and be able to report back.

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La Foce
La Foce
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Chianciano Terme, Italy
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