Montepulciano: history and curiosity about an ancient Tuscan hamlet near Siena and close to Umbria.
Located on the top of a hill, Montepulciano overlooks the surrounding valleys: from its higher panoramic point it is possible to feel breath-taking emotions. That almost magical town will remain clear in your memory. While looking around, you will probably think to float in the air, as if those ancient walls are not part of a town, but arising from the fog, as the borders of an enchanted island. During the summer, when the sun warms every hidden corner, or spring, when air is rich of flowers and fresh grass perfumes, this historic hamlet is marvellous. Even with the winter bitter cold, when in Piazza Grande there are only a few locals and tourists, Montepulciano does not seem to need the help of nature.
According to the legend, Montepulciano was founded by Lucumone Etrusco Porsenna as an outpost located in the middle of the targets of Florence and Siena, with consequent battles and wars. Montepulciano heyday was represented by the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when its trades, arts and culture developed the most.
Indeed, this was the period of the great poet Agnolo Poliziano, who was born here, of churchmen and humanistic people as Bartolomeo Aragazzi, Pope Martin V secretary, and architects like Antonio Da Sangallo Il Vecchio, Jacopo Barozzi, called Il Vignola, Baldassarre Peruzzi, Ippolito Scalza. Those men created some prestigious patrician estates, beautiful churches and embellished many places of the town.
Historic families – Nobili, Tarugi, Contucci, Bellarmino, Ricci, Cervini, Benci and many others – chose to move to Montepulciano, giving so great personalities to the town, Church, literature, arts and corps.
.. A curiosity about the name “MONTEPULCIANO” ..
The supported thesis is the one for which the town name comes from the Etruscan term Purth, that means captain, general, warlord, dictator, magistrate, transformed then in Porsenna, which became also the name of the Chiusi Lucumone par excellence.
From the Etruscan name Purth, the Pulzina, Pulizina, Pulitina ones derived. It is precisely in this sense that Poliziano takes the meaning of “royal” so Montepulciano “Monte Del Re” or “Monte Di Porsenna”, which literally is: “Mountain Of The King” and “Mountain of Porsenna”.
Others not confirmed hypothesis bring the origins of the name “Montepulciano” back to the Latin period. Indeed, a villa which seems to have belonged to a men called Publicio, from which Puglicianum and Pullicianum may derive, was found on the slopes of the hill.