WINE SHOPS (Enoteca in Italian)
Nothing over buying your Brunello directly at the winery, but if you don't have endless time up your sleeve you may also want to shop for a few extra bottles right in town.
- Bruno Dalmazio is Montalcino's fine wine supermarket. The selection is great and interior design is contemporary (something I love, even more so in Tuscany, where furniture is often stuck in a fake farmer look). BD is filled to the brim with the riches of Montalcino's and Tuscany's best wines and spirits, and also has a section dedicated to French and Italian bubbles. You can park right in front of the Enoteca, which is located outside the town walls on the road towards Siena (not unimportant if you plan to bring home a few cases!). In case you travel by plane, the staff can arrange the shipment of any wine right to your doorstep.
- Calling Osteria Osticcio a liquor store would be offensive. Ambiance is refined, top Brunellos and Supertuscans line the shelves and the views over Montalcino and the Val d'Orcia are breathtaking. However, prices are steep (even more so if you also have a bite to eat!).
- Looking for organic and biodynamic Brunellos only? Franci Bio is a well stocked shop that specializes in anything organic. Not just wine, but everything from Tuscan cheese, chocolate and tomato sauce.
- Market: Montalcino's weekly market is on Friday. Food, clothes and simple kitchenware are on sale at the stalls that line the road that leads from the fortress towards the Coop and Montalcino's museum. The market is a great place to stock up on some fresh vegetables. There is also a small organic food market one Sunday a month on Montalcino's main square, with my favorite organic Pecorino cheese from the Val d'Orcia (read on here for the dates of the market in 2013)
- A must is Montalcino's main forno - the bakery Lambardi. Centrally located (via Soccorso Saloni, 53) the shop lies right next to the work space - hence, makes for a great sight. You'll find the famous unsalted Tuscan bread but also freshly made pasta. And don't miss out on their fantastic grissini (long, crunchy bread sticks).
- Bring a big bag when shopping for Montalcino's famous sweets at Pasticceria Mariuccia (Piazza del Popolo 29). They are great gifts for friends and family who couldn't make it to Italy. Quite unlike the town's Brunello nobody minds if you carry them in your hand luggage.
- Bar l'Angolo (check details on our restaurant page) is a great place to stock up on some of Tuscany's best prosciutto and salami.
- Last but not least, a good supermarket always comes in handy if you forgot your toothpaste. With a bit of luck you even find a free parking spot in front of the COOP, the town's largest food store. If you stay in self-catering accommodation to the north of Montalcino, you may want to consider shopping at the COOP in Buonconvento. Not just the COOP itself is bigger but also the parking in front of it, which is especially useful on Saturdays when the shops get busy with locals. Buonconvento is also a nice town to hang out in high-season, when you want to get away from all the tourists in Montalcino.
|Tuscan and Italian fashion at its best|
ITALIAN FASHION, TUSCAN TABLEWARE AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS
- SARTORIA PRINCIPE in Montalcino's main square is a great address for tailor-made fashion from finest Italian textiles and table linen from Tuscany's famous Busatti manufactory.
- MONTALCINO 564 has a fine selection of Tuscan textiles to traditional Florentine straw hats. The owners also run a second shop towards the end of Via Mazzini, which specializes in Tuscan and Italian apparel (e.g. the famous Capalbio label from the Maremma).
- FARMACIA SALVIONI is a must if your unchecked Brunello consumption has left you with a searing headache (they have a very good homeopathy section too). Ailment free tourists may want to stop by because of the great selection of Italian perfumes: Etro, Acqua di Parma and the famous soaps, creams and candles of Florence' Santa Maria Novella. Great gifts to bring home, if shipping wine isn't an option.
- LA SFINGE (close to the main square) is a small shop with a lovely selection of kitchen and tableware. One of my brothers bought a service of white Italian high-quality dinnerware, he couldn't live without. However not all of the items sold are produced in Italy. But all of them are definitely good-looking.
- Sì Sì PELLE sells Italian leather goods: definitely not your most tasteful shop, but you'll be able to find a wide selection of handmade Italian leather bags and belts. I swear I have seen people walking away with beautiful pieces, which they managed to dug out between the junk.
Before you head out for your shopping excursion remember that most stores in Tuscany's small towns close during lunch hour, roughly from 1 pm through to 4 or 4.30 pm (some shops stay open during high-season).
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