Il Corso information
Lonely Planet review
Montepulciano's main street – called in stages Via di Gracciano, Via di Voltaia, Via dell'Opio and Via d'Poliziano – climbs up the eastern ridge of the town from Porta al Prato and loops to meet Via di Collazzi on the western ridge. To reach the centre of town (Piazza Grande) take a dog-leg turn into Via del Teatro.
In Piazza Savonarola, up from the Porta al Prato, is the Colonna del Marzocca , erected in 1511 to confirm Montepulciano's allegiance to Florence. The splendid stone lion, squat as a pussycat atop this column is, in fact, a copy; the original is in the town's Museo Civico. The late-Renaissance Palazzo Avignonesi is at No 91 and other notable buildings include the Palazzo di Bucelli at No 73 (look for the recycled Etruscan and Latin inscriptions and reliefs on the lower facade), and Palazzo Cocconi at No 70.
Continuing uphill, you'll find Michelozzo's Chiesa di Sant'Agostino , with its lunette above the entrance holding a terracotta Madonna and Child, John the Baptist and St Augustine. Opposite, the Torre di Pulcinella , a medieval tower house, is topped by the town clock and the hunched figure of Pulcinella (Punch of Punch and Judy fame), which strikes the hours. After passing historic Caffè Poliziano , the Corso continues straight ahead and Via del Teatro veers off to the right.