We asked Martina to tell us why the programme in Montepulciano was crucial for her to learn Italian.
First thing you do when you arrive back in Montepulciano, Tuscany?
Go to the beginning of Via di Collazzi and take in the panoramic view of San Biagio and the surrounding countryside – spectacular especially at sunset.
What advice would you give to a tourist?
Stay at least one night in Montepulciano. It is such an atmospheric town especially at night time when the day trippers have left. Enjoy a great meal, walk around and soak in the atmosphere of the ancient streets and buildings.
If you had to be locked in a building overnight, which would it be?
One of the grand Palazzo’s on Piazza Grande, hopefully luxuriously furnished so I could experience life as the de Medici’s and nobles in the 15th century.
Best place for a romantic holiday/ dinner/date in Montepulciano?
Book a hotel/villa with a terrace overlooking the centro storico or the fabulous countryside and enjoy with a glass of vino nobile!
What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?
I would suggest organising a festival but there are already many during the year especially in summer.
Earliest Tuscany memory?
Driving through the pouring rain and jumping out of the car and having my photo taken under the Florence signpost as the sun came out – my first time in Italy and we had arrived in Florence, a long held dream realised.
Best meal you’ve had in Tuscany?
Any of the food at Rosso Rubino Trattoria in Montepulciano, they have the best homemade pasta and dolci, the service is very friendly and a brilliant selection of wines from the local producers.
If you could buy any building in Montepulciano, which would it be?
One with a terrace overlooking the valley.
What are your favourite late-night hangouts?
Il bar “ Lucevan le stelle”.
What is your favourite Tuscany discovery?
Formaggio pecorino with pear and ginger jam!
Best advice for other students of Italian in Montepulciano?
Go into the shops, cafes, restaurants and cantina’s and practice speaking Italian. The townspeople are very happy to let you speak ( no matter how slowly) and will encourage and help you.
by Martina Farrell, student in Montepulciano
Andiamo? Ask me how.