The town of Montalcino is the hometown to the Brunello, one of the most famous wines in the world. It is in the province of Siena, at 567 m of altitude and it has a population of about 5000 inhabitants. The Palazzo Vescovile and the XIII-century churches of St. Agostino and St. Francis, can be admired inside the town.
Numerous archaeological discoveries have led to the conclusion that the first important human settlements in the area of Montalcino date to the Etruscan-Roman period. Some of these precious finds can be seen in the Musei Riuniti of the city.
In the year 814, the territory of Montalcino was ceded by the Emperor Louis the Pius to the monastery of Sant’ Antimo and, since then, its abbots assumed the title of Conti Palatini and Consiglieri with competences not only in the religious sphere but also in the political and administrative domains of the territory.
Nevertheless, the development of Montalcino took place around the X century as for a meaningful growth of its population and for the attainment of a certain importance.
Around the year 935, the arrival of numerous refugees from Maremma, who escaped from the Saracen pirates and settled on the Ilcinese hill, deeply fostered the population of the territory. In the XI century, the area gained further wealth thanks to the improvement and the consolidation of the agricultural and handicraft activity, concerning the production of ceramics, footwear and tannage and wool and wood manufacture.
In 1110, the Sienese made of Montalcino one of the most imposing bulwarks of their Republic, building huge walls around this citadel. This small town had to wait almost a century, namely the year 1202, to recover its autonomy and its authority. All this led the Sienese to conquer it again. They besieged it and gained part of its territory with an agreement made in 1212.
Montalcino conquered its freedom again in 1252 benefiting from an alliance with the Florentines, but the outcome of the battle of Montaperti, which was won by the Sienese in 1260, led the town to fall under the City of the Palio once more.
The need for autonomy of the inhabitants of Montalcino did not take long to reappear. In 1355, they rebelled against the Emperor Charles V and, this time, they preferred to submit to Siena again rather than ceding their territory to him.
Finally, in 1462, Montalcino earned its communal status and it was also nominated Diocese by the Pope Pius II. The siege by the Spanish and the Medicean troops represented the last bloodshed in the history of this and all the Sienese territories. After eighty days of defence, the inhabitants of Montalcino housed many Sienese refugees and, together, they created the Republic of Siena and Montalcino.
Yet, this little state had to surrender to the Spanish when in 1559 its capitulation to the Iberian troops was ratified in the Cateau-Cambrésis treaty. In the XVIII century, the town of Montalcino entered the Tuscan Grand Duchy and it assumed its current territorial dimension.