What to see in Val D'Orcia: an itinerary between nature, food and wine

Located between the sweet hills, the landscape made of crop fields and small villages, Val d’Orcia is one of the most beautiful areas in Tuscany, and a UNESCO heritage

What to see in Val D'Orcia: an itinerary between nature, food and wine

Located between the sweet hills, the landscape made of crop fields and small villages, Val d’Orcia is one of the most beautiful areas in Tuscany, and a UNESCO heritage.

 

This charming valley is situated south of Siena and emerged during the Renaissance, when, between the XIV and XV century, the geography was rethought to be adapted to the new government ideas of Siena, which was a city-state.

 

Obviously, this was not the only reason, as Renaissance was also the age of beauty and art

 

In Val d'Orcia, there was potential to realise a masterpiece made of hills and valley, trees and grass.

 

Therefore, the whole area was designed to be aesthetically pleasant when admired from the top of the walled cities.

 

As we already saw in other articles of this blog, man is capable of realising gorgeous works, but there is also a different kind of art: transforming a valley in a masterpiece!

 

Val d’Orcia is the best example of combination of a flourishing culture, like the Renaissance one, and agriculture and nature’s wish.

 

Discover Val d’Orcia

 

The natural beauty of this place conquered, during the Renaissance, many artists, who wanted to catch, in their works (artistic and literary ones) those breath-taking panoramas. 

 

In Europe, not everybody was having the possibility to travel and move from a country to another, so many people used artists’ work to admire this marvel in Tuscany

 

Today, it is much easier to discover Val d’Orcia: you only need to plan an itinerary through fields, gardens, vineyards and some enchanting hamlets.

 

All you will see will be very natural, as if every single piece would have a specific reason to be right there, in that specific moment:

 

  • Trees on a hill standing out towards the sky ; 
  • The different colours shades of the crops; 
  • The gravel roads; 
  • The vineyards’ straight lines.

 

When everything was planned, it must have looked very artificial, but today everything has found its natural place.

 

Visit Val d'Orcia by foot

 

Val d'Orcia covers a surface of about 60.000 total hectares and there are many ways to visit it, according to your needs. 

 

The simplest one is by car, but the best is definitely by foot, covering some tracts by bus

 

In one day, you can visit most of Val d'Orcia: you could use Chiusi as starting point, as it is very convenient and located on the main railway between Rome and Florence

 

From Chiusi, bus FT4 will take you to Montepulciano and, once there, bus 112 will bring you to San Quirico d'Orcia.

 

From this point, you can start a wonderful walk of approximately 20 kilometres to go back to Montepulciano, which will take you the whole day and give you the opportunity to admire the view and some of the cities along the way.

 

A very good place to stop by for lunch is Pienza, of which I already told you about in a previous article. 

 

It is really worth it to visit the city – UNESCO World’s heritage – and try the famous pecorino cheese.

 

The point of arrival will be Montepulciano, one of the biggest urban areas in Val d'Orcia, a great place for a late happy hour, after the long walk. 

 

From here, to go back to Chiusi, you can take a direct bus. 

 

Visit Val d’Orcia by car

 

Instead, if you have only one day and you want to optimise your time moving by car, here are my advices about the itinerary to follow: 

 

  • Siena: the starting point, taking the ancient Cassia road;
  • Borgo Buonconvento: to reach passing through the Crete Senesi – fantastic clay hills; 
  • Montalcino: home of the famous Brunello wine;
  • San Quirino d’Orcia;
  • Bagno Vignoni: a spa place;
  • Pienza;
  • Montichiello: a small walled middle-age hamlet;
  • Montepulciano: it has a beautiful downtown. The city is also known for the wines, especially the Vino Nobile and the red one.

 

If you prefer being assisted in organising the trip, don’t hesitate to contact me to book a tour in Val d'Orcia and we will plan it accordingly to your needs, so that you will have the opportunity to explore it through an itinerary between food, wine and art. 

16/07/2019