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Lunch suggestions near Montepulciano

Sharon J

100+ Posts
We visit Italy twice a year. Usually stay in one place like Venice or Varenna for three nights, and always finish at Sant'Antonio for a week each time. We are returning this May. We never eat out for dinner, and ALWAYS return to our favorite places for lunch during the week. We are set for Orvieto, Pienza, Montepulciano, and Montechiello We have two afternoons open, and have decided to forego several of our usual places in lieu of a couple of new ones. We have not visited Cortona for many years, and since our adult son will be traveling with us, thought we would like to find a nice low key place for lunch there. All suggestions would be greatly appreciated, or any other hilltop towns will be considered. All suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks....Sharon
 
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Ian Sutton

1000+ Posts
Hi Sharon
It's been a while and so things can change, but for us, somewhat surprisingly Ristorante La Grotta Via di S. Biagio, 15, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy (opposite San Biagio sanctuary) was the best. Fine food, with attentive but not over stuffy service. Surprising as it's directly opposite a tourist attraction (albeit not a massively famous one), which can result in a certain laziness.

It's walkable from Montepulciano, simply down the straight hill, which provides a decent post lunch workout doing the reverse walk! However, if driving, you could do this in reverse, leaving the car at the bottom of the hill, to walk up and visit Montepulciano, then walking back down when leaving.

There might also be an alternative next door, as it looks like an enoteca is opening there and they are often our go to for light but tasty lunches, with something interesting to wash it down with.

Apart from that, we also enjoyed the simple and unfancy food / ambience of Osteria del Conte Via di S. Donato, 19, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy

Plenty of new places in the centre (it's been a while since we went), and I see a fancy chocolatier as well in the centre...

Regards
Ian
 

Sharon J

100+ Posts
Thanks Ian, Actually, La Grotta is one of our favorite places in Montepulciano. We stay with Nico at Sant'Antonio twice a year. However, because of the virus, missed the last four trips. We were just there in October, and will return again next May.

I do want to pass along a new place we stumbled into on the top of the hill on the left side of the Cathedral in Montepulciano. It is a really cute place named Re Al Quadrato, and served the best pizza we have ever had. We had a wonderful conversation with the owner and his staff was terrific.
On our return in May, we will certainly be returning to his adorable place. I didn't see his menu, as we were only interested in the pizza.
 

Ann

100+ Posts
Hi Sharon -- so glad you're getting to travel again. Our last trip to Europe before the pandemic was to Tuscany and Rome. We love both La Grotta and the Osteria del Conte, although they're very different from each other. Another one of our all-time favorites is Il Conte Matto in Trequanda, about half an hour from Montepulciano. Also I Lecci in Castiglione d'Orcia.
Travel safely and stay healthy, and much aloha, Ann
 

Sharon J

100+ Posts
Hi Sharon -- so glad you're getting to travel again. Our last trip to Europe before the pandemic was to Tuscany and Rome. We love both La Grotta and the Osteria del Conte, although they're very different from each other. Another one of our all-time favorites is Il Conte Matto in Trequanda, about half an hour from Montepulciano. Also I Lecci in Castiglione d'Orcia.
Travel safely and stay healthy, and much aloha, Ann
Hi Ann, So nice hearing from you. Nico and I were just talking about you and how much he misses you. As always, you always know the best places for fine food.
 

Tery

10+ Posts
We will also be returning to that same area of Tuscany in May. We'll be staying at our long time favorite rental villa in Sinalunga (north of Montepulciano). Every time we've stayed there, we've always gone to have lunch one day during our rental week at Il Vecchio Forno in San Quirico d'Orcia. The food is pretty good - not outstanding - but the ability to eat outside in a walled, medieval garden really adds to it for us. It's worth a visit if you haven't already eaten there before. One of my favorites things about Il Vecchio Forno is the corner of the outdoor garden planted with herb plants and inhabited by several ancient native tortoises. Last time we were there in 2017, our waiter told me that the largest female tortoise was over 50 years old!
 

Sharon J

100+ Posts
T
We will also be returning to that same area of Tuscany in May. We'll be staying at our long time favorite rental villa in Sinalunga (north of Montepulciano). Every time we've stayed there, we've always gone to have lunch one day during our rental week at Il Vecchio Forno in San Quirico d'Orcia. The food is pretty good - not outstanding - but the ability to eat outside in a walled, medieval garden really adds to it for us. It's worth a visit if you haven't already eaten there before. One of my favorites things about Il Vecchio Forno is the corner of the outdoor garden planted with herb plants and inhabited by several ancient native tortoises. Last time we were there in 2017, our waiter told me that the largest female tortoise was over 50 years old!
Thank you so much. We have tried having lunch there several times, but they don't take reservations, and they have always turned us away, when showing up in person. We have been inside, however, and that garden is very special.
 

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