Once here, it's absolutely worth a little effort to explore the stunning surrounding countryside. Near Castelnuovo dell'Abate rises the splendid Abbey of Sant'Antimo, a monumental structure from the thirteenth century and one of the finest examples of the French Romanesque in Italy.
The land around Montalcino is typified by a thick covering of forest, clearing at times for the traditional cultivation of vines and olive trees on the hillslopes that have helped fix the Val D'Orcia in the world's imagination. It is thanks to these very views that Montalcino, along with the entire valley, was recognised as a World Heritage Site in 2004.
San Giovanni d'Asso, which stands on a piece of high ground, also belongs to the Montalcino territory. Its castle is most certainly its defining feature, with its red brick giving a surprising welcome. This little town represents an area of such gastronomic quality with its Truffle Museum, the first in Italy dedicated to the prized and fragrant tuber. A visit to this museum is a mouthwatering journey through the five senses, with a banquet of exhilarating smells to help you really get to know this marvellous food and get in tune with the entire territory.