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Visiting the Val d’Orcia and Tuscany countryside

Val d'Orcia

The Val d’Orcia.
It evokes rolling hills, souvenir photos that look like postcards, and the intense scent of olive oil, wine, and pecorino cheese.

Visiting the Val d'Orcia and Tuscany countryside

The Val d’Orcia

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004, the Val d’Orcia is an area of Tuscany between Siena and Grosseto that takes its name from the Orcia River that runs through it and is now a protected park.

Scenery and villages combine to give life to a unique place.
And if the landscape is the absolute protagonist, wait until you see the historic villages.
I offer you my travel itinerary and some stop-off addresses.
The beauty of the Val d’Orcia is that you can visit it in a few days or savoring it slowly.

Consiglio: controlla i giorni di mercato dei borghi che visiterai, meritano sempre una visita.

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Visiting the Val d'Orcia and Tuscany countryside

My itinerary discovering the Val d’Orcia

Where to sleep

I chose a farmhouse a few kilometers from the center of the village of Montalcino.
I travel with a dog, and I need to choose accommodation comfortable for each of us.

I stayed at the La Piombaia farm and agriturismo, choosing a small and comfortable apartment. Inside the farm, you will find a restaurant, a swimming pool, and the possibility to buy the products of the biodynamic garden. Besides wine, of course.

From there, I left every day to visit the area.

Two landscapes you can’t miss

On every tour, enjoy the beautiful scenarios around you.
In particular, I recommend visiting the cypress forest.
Maybe around sunset time, when everything is very atmospheric.
Don’t expect a forest, but rather a handful of cypress trees.

It is located along Cassia road, near the small town of Torrenieri.
Coordinates: 43º03’45.6″N / 11º33’31.86″E

The chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta

It is located in the little hamlet of Vitaleta, in the municipality of San Quirico d’Orcia, in the province of Siena, along the road from San Quirico to Pienza (pay attention to the signs, or follow the other cars).

The church, located among fields, is privately owned, but after leaving your car, you can walk to it to admire its beauty and take some pictures.

Visiting the Val d'Orcia in Tuscany

Montalcino, Tuscany

The villages of the Val d’Orcia

Montalcino is a very charming village, and its castle is well worth a visit. Inside you will find the Enoteca, where you can taste the famous Brunello di Montalcino red wine.

Take a tour of the town center and if you are only passing through for one day, choose to visit the village on the day of its weekly market (Friday). For me, it is well worth it!

San Quirico d’Orcia and Bagno Vignoni (5 kilometers away)

They are two little gems, even if the beauty of Bagno Vignoni, a spa resort village known and frequented since the Middle Ages (post cover photo), is hard to top.

In medieval times, San Quirico was a chosen stop for pilgrims traveling along the Via Francigena on their way to Rome. The ancient structure of the village, still surrounded by walls, is original and well preserved. The main street is full of stores and clubs, also worth seeing in the evening.

Don’t forget to visit The Rose Garden and the Horti Leonini.

Pienza is not only synonymous with flavorful cheeses. It is. also the “ideal city” that Renaissance-era humanist Pope Pius II had built. Take your time to visit churches, public buildings open to the public, the center, and, of course, taste the famous pecorino cheese.

Technically, Montepulciano is not in Val d’Orcia, but if you get to Pienza, visit this village as well (distance of 15 km). Not only is it worth a visit, but you will also love it.

On the border between Valdichiana and Val d’Orcia, Montepulciano is a medieval village that sits atop a hill. Its Piazza Grande, surrounded by beautiful palaces, is considered a gem of the 16th century (many international productions have sworn here, even Twilight!). Walking through the steep streets of the center, you’ll feel like you’re taking a trip back in time.

Just outside the village, the Temple of San Biagio is also worth a visit.

Visit Pienza in Tuscany

Visit Montepulciano in Tuscany

Tempio di San Biagio, Montepulciano Tuscany

Where to eat

At Montalcino: everywhere you want! In particular, I recommend the wine bar Il Leccio, wine bar Le Logge di Piazza and a place that no one recommends to you because it is so charmless as to be full of beauty, Trattoria l’Angolo (I recommend making a reservation). Finally, Osteria La Crocina (annexed to the La Piombaia farmhouse).

If you fancy visiting a fine winery and tasting some excellent Brunello, mark this name: Castello Tricerchi.

It has nothing to do with food but is a treat: Sartoria Principe in Piazza del Popolo.

San Quirico d’Orcia: a real, old-fashioned bakery, Le delizie del corso. For a complete lunch, try Da Ciacco (via Dante Alighieri).

Montepulciano, Osteria del Borgo (is even b&b).

Montepulciano, Tuscany

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