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When Page "&" Moy's "Christmas Holidays" brochure dropped on my mat, I saw the chance to escape the confines of Cornish Christmases and do my own thing.  Having enjoyed that experience (see DOLOMITI) I decided to repeat.

For Christmas 2000 I decided to join Page & Moy again, and take my first look at Toscana.

"Chiantishire" is the English nickname for the region that Italians call TOSCANA and which we know as TUSCANY.  Our tour left London Heathrow midday on December 23rd 2000 and flew to Rome before a 2hour coach transfer to the Hill town of MONTEPULCIANO, though in fact we stayed below its slopes at ALBERGO SAN BIAGIO.

Christmas Eve was spent on local excursions to MONTEPULCIANO, to the Hilltop town of PIENZA the birth place of Pope Pius II, and A Thermal spa (shown below).  Weather was grey and damp.

In September 2005 I paid a second visit to Montepulciano.  This time my visit was a day trip excursion from the Tuscan town of Chianciano Terme where I stayed with my sister on a COSMOS holiday.  The day was very, very wet, but the sun did come out after lunch to give us glorious views.

click pictures below for full size views

Montepulciano in the sun
Town on a Hill

High on a hill lies Montepulciano
Hill Town

View of San Biagio from my room
Chiesa San Biagio from Albergo
Chiesa San Biagio
Chiesa San Biagio
Memorial Avenue of trees down to Church
Memorial avenue to San Biagio
Each tree commemorates a soldier killed in The Great War
and named on a stone beneath
A commemorative stone to WW1 soldier
One of the Memorial Stones beneath
one of the trees on the memorial avenue
Tuscan view from one of Montepulciano's many arches Arched ways in the City Walls One of the many arches within Montepulciano Narrow Streets
Arches and Narrow Streets
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