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Charming Tuscan Hill Town
Montepulciano is a charming hill town in Tuscany. Walk the streets to get a feel for its appeal. On the outskirts of town visit San Biagio, a 16th-century church. This late-Renaissance building was constructed on the site of a pre-existing Palaeochristian pieve (a type of church) dedicated to Saint Mary and subsequently to Saint Blaise. By the early 16th century the pieve had fallen into ruin, its remains including a wall with a fresco of the Madonna with child, and Saint Francis, from a 14th-century Sienese painter. The church today has a circular plan with a large dome over a terrace and a squared tambour. The exterior, with two bell towers, is built in white travertine. It's a lovely church worth the hike from the town center.