The symbol of Montepulciano
The Medici Fortress, a few steps from Piazza Grande, overlooks the village of Montepulciano. It offers splendid views of the Valdichiana and the Val d 'Orcia that lie at the foot of the village. On clear days the gaze reaches Lake Trasimeno.
The fortress has an ancient history. Due to its elevated position, it has been an outpost since ancient times and has been rebuilt several times over the ages. The first construction, the Castrum Politianum, dates back to the 8th century and Lombard times but the top of the fortress was already in use in Roman times.
The building you see today dates back to 1261 and was built by the Sienese during the struggles against the Florentines but fell into disrepair after the earthquake of 1614. The name of Fortezza Medicea has earned it thanks to the Renaissance architect to whom its construction is attributed, Antonio da Sangallo il Vecchio.
Renovated in the nineteenth century, it was used to breed silkworms. In the 1930s it housed a school and is now a cultural centre hosting exhibitions, events and conferences. Every year in spring it hosts the Craft Exhibition.