Officially one of Italy’s most beautiful small towns, Montemerano is a feast for the eyes.
The town does not have a list of monuments that you can cross off with the satisfaction that you have seen the town’s heart.
Montemerano must be lived. You have to explore the streets and hidden piazzas.
Sit on the benches with the locals who have lived there for a generation and can’t honestly understand what all the fuss is about and get close enough to touch the palazzos with the limestone facades that have survived more than a few centuries.
And you better do it soon because Montemerano is a secret that won’t stay hidden for long.
Chiesa di San Giorgio
Montemerano’s church is a riot of frescos. Truly beautiful pieces that cover almost every surface and depict St George slaying the dragon, St Ursula on her fateful sea journey and one of the few scenes of men and women entering Heaven… in the nude!
Keep an eye out for the opposite, a hellish scene of demons holding people up by the feet.
This church is perhaps best known for its Madonna della Gattaiola, a plank of wood bearing a sombre painting of the Virgin Mary complete with a cat door for the brief period in which it was used as a cellar door by the parish priest.
Piazza del Castello
There is no castle in the Piazza del Castello, at least not any more. Instead there are Montemerano’s most beautiful and oldest houses.
True villas of sandstone and creeping vines.
This is the place to get your money shot of the town no matter what time of day or night.
Montemerano’s main strip is a plethora of bouquet stores and restaurants. Stop by for hand-crafted jewellery, cutting boards carved from olive trees and spices from all over the world.
When you’re feeling a little peckish, take your pick from any of the family-owned restaurant and try a little wild boar.