Montepulciano is a further 20 minutes drive from Pienza and is well worth going the extra distance for. It has a beautiful honey-coloured Renaissance church – San Biagi and a charming main square – The Piazza Grande.  Its spring landscape is said to have inspired Botticelli’s ‘Primavera’ It is possible to climb the Tower to survey the whole province. On the last Sunday in August, you might catch a local custom, a barrel race, where heavy barrels are pushed up hill. Introduced when the palio was deemed too dangerous, its almost equally violent!