Vampires of Tuscany

The Tuscan hill town of Montepulciano is known for the usual: wine, steep pedestrian streets, sweeping views across the countryside and, of course, vampires.

Anyone of the female persuasion under a certain age will happily admit to knowing that Montepulciano’s most recent claim to fame is as stand in for Volterra in the latest Twilight movie. I am above that age, so I will admit it more reluctantly. My husband isn’t a female of any age so don’t ask me for his excuse.

To be honest, aside from a few Vampire Set Menus at otherwise normal restaurants (since when do vampires eat spaghetti bolognese?) and the sale of terribly designed “Edward was here” t-shirts, Montepulciano has very little to show for it’s Hollywood associations. There isn’t even a fountain in the middle of the square!

But none of that matters. I loved the view from the time-worn cafe where a delicious cappuccino only cost 1 euro. I loved trying to get lost in the crumbly streets, under archways that led to twisting stairways but always ended up in the same charming square. I loved how you could walk in any direction and soon enough you were beyond the town walls and in the countryside surrounded by silvery, muddy olive groves. I ruined a pair of shoes but it was worth it.

People may be drawn to the small hill town for it’s vampy cameo credentials, but that is not what they’ll remember on the bus ride home.

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