Events of all kinds take place in Montepulciano throughout the year. Music, dance, theatre, sport, food and wine, local folklore, historical pageants, exhibitions and international events, themed fairs and festivals. Basically, there will be something to attend or take part in every day in the main town and its hamlets, ensuring you a holiday of fun, relaxation and distraction, with an extra opportunity to nurture your interests. Below are those that have always characterised Montepulciano’s cultural profile; but all the events can be found at www.montepulcianoliving.it, with regular updates. or info and details, contact the offices of Proloco di Montepulciano – Piazza Don Minzoni – +39 0578757341 – www.prolocomontepulciano.it
IL CANTIERE INTERNAZIONALE D’ARTE
Il Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte was conceived and set up in 1976 by M° Hans Werner Hense, one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, who saw Montepulciano as the perfect place for this event. Il Cantiere is a workshop in which artists of all nationalities collaborate. During Il Cantiere, which takes place in the second ten days of July, established professionals, students and young talents come to Montepulciano to exchange experiences and showcase their art in concerts, performances (often international premières), some of which are highly innovative. The venues are the squares, halls and theatres of Montepulciano and of the neighbouring towns that become involved in this internationally renowned event. The added value of Il Cantiere is provided by its form as an ongoing workshop, in which experiences are transferred without any rigid definition of roles, and also by an area where it is natural to express art and beauty.
The Bruscello Poliziano has been performed in Piazza Grande almost every year since 1939. In actual fact, the Bruscello has been performed in farmyards since time immemorial, moving through the countryside and bringing epic, dramatic and sometimes burlesque stories, inspired by poems of chivalry, popular farce or stories inspired by characters from the Decameron or the Divine Comedy, directly to the homes of farmers, through the voices of improvised storytellers. Since 1939, however, the auditorium of the Bruscello has been Piazza Grande, with the cathedral forecourt as its stage and the rugged façade of the Duomo as a backdrop.
The actors and singers who perform in this show, as well as the musicians (a total of more than a hundred people), are the ordinary people of Montepulciano, who are also among the first spectators, along with many tourists, some of whom come especially for the event from far and wide, filling the square for the four or five evenings of performances staged every year in mid-August.
IL BRAVIO DELLE BOTTI
On the last Sunday in August, the eight contradas into which Montepulciano is divided compete in a breathtaking race, as gruelling for the athletes as it is exciting for spectators, those who live in the contradas and tourists alike. The race consists of rolling barrels weighing as much as 80 kg along a 1650-metre course, almost entirely uphill through the historical part of the town. The “spingitori” – as the athletes who push the barrels are called – two for each contrada, train for long months, because the race is tough, even if it only lasts a few minutes. The rivalry can be felt all year round and the contradas work ceaselessly to prepare for the challenge that results in the conquest of the coveted “panno” (banner). The race is preceded by an evocative historical parade featuring more than two hundred participants, including drummers and flag throwers, presenting images of days gone by. The finishing line of the race is in Piazza Grande.
The week preceding the race is full of events characterised by old-world charm, such as the proclamation of the Gonfaloniere (standard bearer), the Corteo dei Ceri (procession of the candles) and the nocturnal trials of the spingitori (pushers). On those days, the contradas remain open every evening, welcoming locals and tourists and serving traditional dishes, accompanied by musical events and a variety of other initiatives.
CALICI DI STELLE
In the town of Montepulciano, which has always been devoted to the production and promotion of top-quality wines such as Rosso di Montepulciano DOC and Vino di Montepulciano DOCG – the first wine in Italy to be awarded this prestigious quality mark – Calici di Stelle is held every year on the 10th of August. The venue for the event is the town’s elegant “parlour”, Piazza Grande, along with other charming places inside and outside the old town. With free and guided tastings, walks under the stars, music and performances of various kinds, the flavours and aromas of Montepulciano’s wines pair perfectly with the beauty of the town’s main monuments.
LIVE ROCK FESTIVAL
In Acquaviva, just a two-minute drive from Agriturismo Sanguineto, an annual event takes place that has made this small hamlet a reference point for international rock music. Even though the bands that perform are famous, the concerts are free of charge, and you can also eat traditional local dishes on each of the five evenings of the festival. The vast area of the Fierale, where the stage is set up for the concerts, welcomes thousands of fans every year, who can share their enjoyment of the offerings of an independent festival that is attentive to the most innovative trends.
Major exponents of rock, avant-garde, electronic, world music, reggae, folk tradition, blues and jazz are invited to perform on stage. The Live Rock Festival usually takes place between late August and early September.
NATALE A MONTEPULCIANO
Natale a Montepulciano (Christmas in Montepulciano) is an event that has now captured the attention of many tourists, who come to our town from all parts of Italy to visit the Christmas markets, with the characteristic chalets that occupy part of Piazza Grande and the old town, and a food area to cater for the visitors’ gourmand desires. Everything is ready to welcome them on weekends from mid-November and the village is open every day from just before Christmas until Epiphany. The same goes for Santa’s Castle, which is set up in the old Fort. Of course, children are always welcome in the castle, where a burly, bearded Santa Claus awaits them to talk to them and take a souvenir photo, while the elves move about the castle rooms, always busy with their activities. The markets and shops in the old town offer the best of local craftsmanship and agri-food production, and in the restaurants, which are all open during the Christmas period, you can taste the best of the area’s typical dishes.
Montepulciano 5 Km – Pienza 15 Km – Chiusi 15 Km – Cortona 18 Km – Orvieto 30 Km Montalcino 35 Km – Siena 50 Km
Firenze 100 Km – Arezzo 45 Km – Perugia 50 Km – Assisi 70 Km – Roma 120 Km – Pisa 190 Km