Most people who plan a trip to Italy almost always include one of the big, historic cities like Rome or Florence. Located in between is where my heart lives, perched high in a hilltop village called Montefollonico. You may not find this medieval village in your traditional travel guides. The population tops out at around 500 citizens and the main “downtown” district is just one stone road.
There are no massive art museums, cathedrals or iconic Italian landmarks, and yet, I return as often as I can because in a way I can’t completely understand or explain, Montefollonico feels like home.
Local residents and business owners are warm and welcoming and greet me like an old friend every time I visit. The roots here run deep. Businesses like agriturismi, vineyards, farms and restaurants have often been passed down from one generation to the next with families working side by side to keep the business running. Most thrive and grow with each new generation’s savvy contributions. Additions like a website, widens their reach while still maintaining their local essence.
Montefollonico looks very much the same as when it was originally built back in the 14th century. And while one of the most unique original structures built to protect the villagers is now available as a vacation rental, many buildings in the village remain private residences for families who have resided in Montefollonico for centuries.
This is my third visit to Montefollonico and I get why Tuscan Women Cook has made their home here. There are several award-winning, Michelin-ranked restaurants here and much of the food prepared here, both in restaurants and in home kitchens, is grown nearby. Farm-to-table takes on a whole new meaning when the table is literally situated on the farm, vineyard or olive grove. I will happily eat anything, anytime with anyone served to me at these lovely tables.