Montepulciano e San Biagio

From the Madonna di San Biagio to the Madonna delle Querce

Evocative itinerary spotlights ancient legends

This route starts from the Madonna di San Biagio (near Montepulciano), one of the many places of worship that are located nearby. Considered one of the masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, this church was designed by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder and built in travertine. Inside, one can find stuccos and Baroque frescoes. The high altar was created in 1584; it was a great marble altar with four statues of saints, carried out by Ottaviano Lazzerini. Above the altar, one can appreciate a stained glass window depicting a Madonna and Saints by Michelangelo da Cortona. The temple’s origin is linked to a miracle that happened on April 23, 1518. Two women and a shepherd passed in front of a fresco depicting Saint Francis and the Madonna and Child and they saw the eyes of the Virgin move as if she were alive.

From here, we can cross the vineyards and arrive at the Madonna della Quercia. The sanctuary of the Madonna of Querce is located outside the village’s walls, near the Medici Fortress. This place of worship and veneration for Our Lady of Sorrows, experienced a period of decline in the 1700s. Nevertheless, up to the early post-war period the well water was well-known as the ‘Font of Milk’. Animals were made to drink at the well inside the church and women drank from it to produce high-quality breast-milk and in hopes of being cured of sterility.