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Certified organic Sangiovese vines in Sant Angelo in south west Montalcino

Italy’s recent local government streamlining has subsumed smaller townships 'comuni ' into their larger near-neighbours. Now vacated council offices and even rural police stations are morphing into private houses, shops, warehouses and even bakeries and restaurants.  The reforms saw Montalcino, already the largest township in Tuscany’s largest province (Siena), grow further by absorbing San Giovanni d’Asso, a pretty village located a 20-minute drive to the north-east.

San Giovanni d’Asso agreed to merge with Montalcino. Its only other potential match nearby was short on glamour and so financially challenged it had to shut the local sports centre. It used the money to erect speed cameras so hard to spot there is an almost permanent queue of miscreants paying their fines at the town hall office.

Montalcino’s only condit...

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