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Montepulciano: Caffe Poliziano

Via di Voltaia nel Corso, 27 , Phone: 0578.758625

Reviewed by: Tessmar from CA, review #3213

When: 2007

It's all about the coffee and the ambience

Directions: On the mainstreet (Il Corso)

Coffee bar in Caffe Poliziano, photo by Martins

In two extended visits to Italy Caffe Poliziano served absolutely the best espresso and cappucino I had. The atmosphere is restored 19th century, the view from the little terrace is wonderful, and for a quick coffee and pastry order at the standup bar rather than by sitting down for service. The price is less, and they don't mind you doing so as long as the place is not busy or the waitress is not on duty. This is usually the case in the morning.

Caffe Poliziano also serves full meals and some pretty attractive desserts but I have not tried these. While other reviewers have found the service indifferent, try a few words in Italian and the barriste and cameriere becomes a lot warmer in their responses.

It's a great place to just sit and relax, pretending you are Frederico Fellini, who was there for the grand opening after its renovation.

Reviewed by: Doru from Canada, review #2772

When: 2007

This is about the caffé: an elegant place, with inattentive service but excellent food.

Directions: Pedestrian access up from Porta Al Prato or coming down from Piazza Grande.

Our plan was to arrive at the café for lunch on their famous café-restaurant terrace. Many good plans were waylaid by reality: our visit in Montepulciano brought us unexpectedly in front of the café at around 11:30 a.m., too early for their lunch, and so we settled for sitting in the café and tea room for cappuccino, sandwiches and desserts.

The café and tea room has also a balcony, with gorgeous views into the valley below, but the balcony was all occupied. In fact, it was pretty cold and windy outside for us and we also noticed that the sitting for three on the balcony would have been too tight anyway.

The café itself is beautiful, spacious and very refined, a mixture of Art Deco and Art Nouveau, one of the most beautiful we’ve seen anywhere. The sandwiches were very good, as were the coffee and the desserts. Unfortunately, the service was pretty indifferent, as the cappuccino and sandwiches arrived without the table having been set and we had to do justice for ourselves by raiding the neighbouring tables for cutlery and the waiters’ station for napkins and sugar.

We didn’t allow this to ruin our enjoyment of the place and ended up having a very good lunch at a very good price: as noon approached, we were offered an impressive, gilded menu where all prices were about two to three times what we paid for the same sandwiches, coffees and desserts just a few minutes earlier.

Well recommended for food quality and the unique beauty of the setting, inside and outside.

Reviewed by: Colleen from CA (moderator), review #2571

When: 2007

Good food, fabulous view!

Five of us met up for lunch at this highly recommended cafe, and enjoyed ourselves immensely!

We requested terrace dining, and were soon seated on the terrace overlooking the valley beyond Montepulciano. The views were lovely ... it was like being in the middle of a painting.

We each ordered something different and shared bites with one another. This was the first place we tried panzanella - and we all loved it! (One of the 'girls' made it for us for lunch the next day at our Sant' Antonio apartment!) I had my beloved cacio e pepe - pasta with pecorino cheese and black pepper - it was a hit with the others, too. I don't remember what else we ordered, but everyone was happy. :)

With bottled water and wine, the bill came to €15 each.

Reviewed by: Leslie from Australia, review #2233

When: 2006

This is a particularly special café with gorgeous views over the Tuscan countryside. The pastries are pretty special too!

Directions: This website gives you directions: Directions

We had a great time having tea and cappuccino on this trip sitting in front of the French doors with a glorious view of the Tuscan countryside. We were seated at a table and the bill was only 5.10€ for the two hot drinks.

There is a tempting array of little pastries, some topped with fresh blackberries, and the most delicious, tiny chocolate éclairs. I bought a selection each day “per portare via” – to take away and eat.

The cafe is very special. The waiters and waitresses are attentive and polite. The views are wonderful. The downstairs ‘tea room’ is lovely with a beautiful selection of paintings adorning the walls and antique furniture. Both rooms have china cabinets which display a wide range of coffee cups. There are some items for sale – this trip I bought a Caffé Poliziano pillbox (sold containing little candy mints) for 6.50€. You can buy the café’s cups from the shop next door on the right.

This café is an experience not to be missed.

Reviewed by: Jean from MI, review #794

When: 2004

Wonderful caffe and bar but also serves meals

Directions: On the main street in Montepulciano

This was where we went every morning for our cappuccino and again in the evening for a lemoncello. They also have wonderful desserts and pastries. We didn't eat a meal there, but if you do, be sure to sit by the windows or on the terrace for a great view!

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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