Val d’Orcia

Val d’Orcia

Charming hills, white roads, vineyards and cypress. The tour that you dream of!

Here, men’s activities and nature are fantastically matched together, art and history have created a unique landscape. The Val d’Orcia is the perfect destination if you love relaxing, slow life, slow food, authenticity. It’s a valley located between the provinces of Siena and Grosseto, south of Tuscany. It was named after the small river Orcia that crossed this area. The beautiful scenery of the Val d’Orcia, had inspired many Renaissance artists for their works of art and painting that you can admire especially in the museums of Siena. Since the Roman times, the Val d’Orcia played an important role for the economy of the region Tuscany. It was crossed by the famous roman road of the Via Cassia, that used to link Rome to the Region Emilia Romagna and from the middle age the Via Francigena road also passed close to this area. That means a huge number of merchants and pilgrims that crossed this countryside and stopped there, bringing culture, innovation, money and prosperity! That’s the reason why the val d’Orcia is full of little towns, monasteries and castles:first of all to give hospitality to all travelers. And that is also the reason why Siena did a lot to rule and controlle this area. From the second half of the XVI Century, most of the Valley fell under the control of the Medici, when finally the wars between Florence and Siena ended.

Renting a car it’s probably the best way to discover Val d’Orcia. It allows you to stop in the different towns or monasteries.

You can’t miss a visit of:

  • San Quirico d’Orcia, a medieval town inside the ancient city walls
  • The abbey of Monteuliveto with the beautiful Renaissance frescoes made by Sodoma
  • Pienza, an authentic Renaissance village, redesign for the aim of Pope Pio II (the first name of the town was Corsignano, changed in Pienza in honor of the Pope II that was born there)
  • Montalcino, known for the wine and his fortress from where you can admire one of the best view of the Val d’Orcia valley
  • Montepulciano, located on the top of a hill, characterized by the presence of ancient building, traditional and artisan shops

But on the way you can find more. And don’t forget to stop just to see and contemplate the silence and beauty of nature and like for all the region Tuscany, the local products are worth to be discovered. Just two key words: eat good and healthy and drink as well 🙂
Simple product but tasty! You can start by tasting the extra virgin olive oil produced here by eating a delicious bruschetta. As an appetizer you can have a plate of cold cuts(ham and salami) with the famous Pienza pecorino cheese. A very ancient pecorino, mentioned in the ancient time and loved by Lorenzo the Magnificent of the Medici family.
A cheese that has different flavors, strong if the sheep are feted with wild herbs delicate if they also eat cereals.
The wine as well it’s a precious product of the Val d’Orcia. One of the most famous red wines of Italy is produced here: the Brunello di Montalcino. It’s produced just in the area of Montalcino with the Sangiovese Grosso grape. The Brunello “recipe” was the result of an experiment done by the chemist Ferruccio Biondi Santi. He conceived A new way to make wine in Tuscany. A wine that has to be aged like the French ones.
Another kind of wine produced is the youngest version of the Brunello, the Rosso di Montalcino and around the area of Montepulciano you can also find another kind of red wine, the Nobile di Montepulciano.

Relaxing in Val d’Orcia is also very easy thanks to the presence of many spa establishments. The most famous are located close to Bagno Vignoni and in the area of Bagni di San Filippo Bagni Vignoni is a middle age town that has roman origins. In the center of the town there’s a big pool with thermal water, used in the past by pilgrims on their way to Rome, but also by Saint Catherine of Siena and Lorenzo the Magnificent. The waters of Bagni di San Filippo were renowned already since the Etruscan time for their benefits and quality. We suggest you spend at least a couple of days here! Ask us for more information, even for just a day trip!