Highest of all Tuscan hill towns, at more than 600m, Montepulciano stretches atop a long narrow ridge 65km southeast of Siena. Its main street, the Corso, snakes its way through scores of crumbling Renaissance palazzi and churches, interspersed by myriads of little piazze. Montepulciano has been around for a long time; the Etruscans founded a settlement here, and later it was garrisoned by the Romans. In the middle ages, Montepulciano oscillated between Florentine and Sienese control and in 1390, threw in its lot with the Florentines to whom they served as a loyal strategic ally on the southern flank of the Sienese Republic. After 1559, when Siena was annexed by the Florentine Grand Duchy, Montepulciano lost its strategic importance and lived out a quiet existence as an agricultural centre for the next few centuries. Today, it draws tourists from all over the world, drawn by its imposing form, and the splendid panoramas of the Val d'Orcia that it offers. It is also home to one of Italy's renowned red wines, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Credit to Google for photogrammetry.