The ancient origins of Montepulciano can be traced back to the time of the Etruscans, from the fourth century BC, when it was founded by Porsenna, Lucumone (Re) of Chiusi. The center of the city, in the form of "S", is enclosed within three circles of walls, built to protect the medieval village to the fourteenth century. The Republic of Siena, trying to control the free and rich Montepulciano, in the eleventh century, began a series of wars that followed for many decades. The Cathedral, built between 1586 and 1680 by Ippolito Scalza, stands on the ruins of the ancient church of Santa Maria, and contains a large number of art works: one of the most important is the monumental triptych of Assumption by Taddeo di Bartolo (1401). The church of San Biagio (or temple of San Biagio) with centralized Greek cross plan, edificated by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder: example of Tuscan Renaissance architecture of the sixteenth century, the church is in an isolated position just a few steps from the historic center. One of the most characteristic manifestation of Montepulciano is The Bravìo delle Botti, on the last Sunday of August, a race that is held every year between the eight Contrade of the city (Cagnano, Collazzi, Gracciano, Le Coste, Poggiolo, San Donato, Talosa, Voltaia), in honor of St. John the Beheaded, the patron saint of Montepulciano. Also in August, every year since 1939, the Bruscello Poliziano takes place on the esplanade of the Cathedral, a form of popular theater and farmer, typically Tuscan, recited and sung. Visiting the city, no one cannot stop at the city museum in the Palazzo Neri Orselli. The name and fame of Montepulciano in the world are related to winemaking from to Etruscan times, although the first written document is of 789. The production of excellent wines was constantly in the Middle Ages. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG since 1980, is protected by a consortium that brings together all the wineries. Rosso di Montepulciano has the same blend of Vino Nobile but also admits other grapes of the area. Vin Santo di Montepulciano is an excellent dessert wine.