Indulge in truffle-tasting
Truffles are a huge deal in this region, so holidays to Montaione will always be peppered with these fragrant and decadent gastronomic gems. October is a fun time to visit as that’s when the truffle harvest begins, with a festival to accompany the excitement.
Watching truffle hounds sniff out the fungi is something you’ll never forget, but visiting a restaurant is a must. Infused with local flavour, the regional risotto makes great use of the odd-looking ingredient. Truffles are especially tasty when accompanied by a Chianti wine and locally-produced olive oil.
Enjoy low-key evenings
It’s fair to say that a Montaione holiday isn’t a non-stop party, as the pace of life is fairly slow and the nightlife is very understated. If the idea of enjoying a bottle of wine with dinner, good conversation and a stroll back to your room sounds like heaven, then you’re in luck. However, there is one popular bar on offer here if you fancy stretching the evening out a little more. Lo Strettoio Pub is where the locals drink and has a good selection of wines and beers in stock, all of which can be enjoyed alongside glorious views of the rural landscape.
Take a pilgrimage into the past
Tourists looking for some local history frequently visit churches, but a Montaione holiday offers something a little different, in the form of the historic Holy Mount Monastery. Built to prevent dangerous pilgrimages to Palestine being necessary, it’s a fascinating site that features countless chapels, beautiful gardens, spectacular works of art and religious statues.
Referred to as the “Jerusalem of Tuscany”, the site dates back to the early 1300s and plays host to some wonderful open-air events in the summer months, such as classical music concerts. The history of the monastery really lends itself to making these events feel more special.
Leave your troubles behind
There’s a real sense of Montaione having been left untouched by the modern world, and it really is thoroughly charming. Taking time to stroll around the old town will reveal a labyrinth of traditional cobbled streets that come together to create a couple of sweet little piazzas, where locals sit and watch the day go by. Even the cafés feel old-fashioned, but that all adds to the overall ambience, as do the traditional trattorias that are run by multiple generations of one family, with signature recipes passed down over many decades.
Explore a little further
A quiet Montaione holiday might be exactly what you’re after, but when you realise that Pisa, Florence and Siena are all under an hour’s drive away, it’s definitely worth sacrificing a day of peace and quiet for some Italian sightseeing.
Having so many tourist hot spots nearby is just one more reason that Montaione is so popular, and the scenery en-route to these places is beautiful, thanks to the Tuscan greenery. With sights such as Michelangelo’s David, the Uffizi gallery and the Leaning Tower of Pisa all a short drive away, if you haven’t seen them before, they present photo opportunities that aren’t to be missed.
Offering the best compromise of a quiet Italian region that has plenty of excitement within easy reach, Montaione is a great introduction to Tuscany. Foodies will be in heaven during a holiday here, thanks to the regional speciality of white truffles, and everyone will find the traditional architecture and laid-back vibe mesmerising.