Val d’Orcia Valley Tuscany What to see Best hidden gems in italy
dal 06.11.2019 12:01
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Charming hills landscape winery wine Val d'Orcia valdorcia Tuscany region regione

  • Charming hills landscape winery wine Val d'Orcia valdorcia Tuscany region regione
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  • Sunset charming hills landscape Val d'Orcia valdorcia Tuscany region regione Toscana.jpg
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  • montepulciano rooftops charming chianti siena tuscany.jpg
  • Montalcino village Val d'Orcia valdorcia Tuscany region regione Toscana.jpg
  • Pienza village Sienna Siena Val d'Orcia valdorcia Tuscany region regione Toscana.jpg

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Few vistas are as idyllic and alluring as that of Italy’s Tuscan hills. Lined with cypress trees, textured with patchwork vineyards and dotted with rustic farmhouses, the countryside is all at once rural, manicured and serene, while its vibrant shades of green and yellow are a feast for the eyes.
The Val d’Orcia, encompassing Siena, Pienza and Montalcino, is one of the loveliest parts of the region.

Time seems to slow down for picturesque towns like Pienza, a real jewel known as the "Ideal City" and the beautiful Palazzo Piccolomini.
Or the little town of Castiglion d'Orcia with its fortress.
At the furthest southern most point there is the hilltop town of Radicofani with its imposing castle tower or go west, towards the walled medieval city of Montalcino and the vineyards of Brunello.
A must-see is the beautiful and suggestive Romanesque Abbey of Sant' Antimo, one of the best examples of medieval monastic architecture.

South of Siena lies a remote valley full of surprises, with rolling landscapes, a renaissance 'new town', ancient spas and, most amazingly of all, little sign of tourism.
Today, the Val D'Orcia is a destination in itself, and its expansive, sweeping landscape is wildly compelling.
The Rome-Florence railway line and most of the road traffic passes well to the east, down the Val di Chiana, leaving Orcia to walkers, cyclists and those who motor rather than drive.

Val d'Orcia is an exceptional reflection of the way the landscape was rewritten in Renaissance times to reflect the ideals of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture.
It lies to the south-east of Siena, its northern boundary approximately 25 km from the city centre.
The landscape reflects colonization by the merchants of Siena in the 14th and 15th centuries.

The Val d’Orcia is characterised by gentle, carefully-cultivated hills occasionally broken by gullies and by picturesque towns and villages such as Pienza (rebuilt as an “ideal town” in the 15th century under the patronage of Pope Pius II), Radicofani (home to the notorious brigand-hero Ghino di Tacco) and Montalcino (the Brunello di Montalcino is counted among the most prestigious of Italian wines, rated 2007 #1 world wine by Wine Spectator).
It is a landscape which has become familiar through its depiction in works of art from the Renaissance painting to the modern photograph.
In 2004 the Val d’Orcia was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

The tours in Val d’Orcia usually start in Siena.

From this medieval town, head down Via Cassia, first passing through the Crete Senesi area, which is characterised by a surreal and spectacular landscape.
The first stop in Val d’Orcia is Buonconvento, a small walled hamlet considered among one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.
It was a stop for travellers along the ancient Via Francigena, which connected Northern Europe to Rome in medieval times, and is also an important center for trade in the area.
Val d’Orcia has many high-quality local products, especially the wines, including reds, such as Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile of Montepulciano.
Other specialties include, olive oil, saffron, mushrooms and truffles.
San Quirico d’Orcia is the next stop of your journey. Be sure to look for the road with endless cypress tress right before you enter the village.
It is one of the most photographed panoramas of Tuscany.
San Quirico was a very important stop in ancient times, as it sat right along the pilgrimage route Via Francigena.

The valley has long been an idyllic getaway for Italians and foreign travelers alike.
They come for the relaxed sophistication found in and around the towns of Montalcino, Pienza, and Montepulciano, for the renowned cuisine and wine, and for the area’s convenience to Florence and Rome (both are less than a two-hour drive away).
Autumn always shows the valley at its best: As the tourist season winds down, vineyards turn to russet and gold, and harvest festivals abound. And now visitors have more options than ever, thanks to a new generation of hoteliers and restaurateurs.

Pienza: spectacular and perfect Renaissance hill town boasting a unique panorama all over the Orcia Valley. Don’t miss the Pecorino cheese rolling tournament taking place at the beginning of September.
Montalcino: the perfect medieval hill-top town, popular as the home of the Brunello di Montalcino, extraordinary red wine. Walk around its battlements to have a breathtaking view.
Sant’Antimo Abbey: one of the most beautiful and fascinating Romanesque abbeys in Italy, founded by Charlemagne, according to legend. Not to be missed.
Bagno Vignoni: charming and atmospheric tiny Renaissance village with fantastic hot spring waters and a huge thermal pool as its central square!
Rocca d’Orcia or Rocca a Tentennano: imposing medieval tower spectacularly rising on a rocky outcrop and dominating all the Valdorcia with a breathtaking unforgettable panorama.
Castiglione d’Orcia: lovely village just below the rocca, with three wonderful medieval churches with panels by Pietro Lorenzetti.
San Quirico d’Orcia: typically medieval walled village with the beautiful Romanesque church La Collegiata and the 16th century Horti Leonini gardens.
Radicofani: the Fortress and Castle of Radicofani, 783 mt above the sea level, boasts stunning views. Its name is connected to Ghino di Tacco, a bandit of the 14th century mentioned by both Dante and Boccaccio in their writings.
Monastery of Sant’Anna in Camprena: stupendous monastery surrounded by a landscape of unusual beauty; chosen as a location for filming the famous movie “The English Patient”.
Bagni di San Filippo: renowned for its curative sulphur hot springs cascading from scenic calcareous white rocks. Enjoy its thermal waters in the modern spa.

Renting a car is ideal to explore the countryside of Tuscany. Having a car gives you the flexibility to stop wherever you want and take a picture of the poppy fields or capture that picture perfect postcard of Tuscany.
It also gives you more time to actually explore places than spend time in transit.
Taking a tour with a company may be another option but you would be limited by the tour’s schedule.
When in Tuscany, you must stay in an Agriturismo. Agriturismos are farm houses that open their homes to tourists and offer bed and breakfast.
In some cases, they also offer cooking classes, wine tours etc.
This is an authentic Tuscan experience.

The Valley of Orcia stretching between the Orcia River south of Siena and the border between Siena and Grosseto, begs to be explored slowly.
But how do you know where to go without getting so off the beaten path it ruins your day and maybe your whole vacation? Check out our three scenic drives.
The Google maps can be shared to your smartphone to guide you around the routes and to the many hidden gems and great photo spots you need to see in Tuscany.

A must-see is the beautiful and suggestive Romanesque Abbey of Sant' Antimo, one of the best examples of medieval monastic architecture; here you can really breath a mystic and medieval atmosphere and listen to beautiful Gregorian chants during mass.
When kissed by the sun, the magnificent travertine stone facade of the abbey shines with golden reflections.
You can relax in one of the many thermal baths of the region, the closest one being Bagno Vignoni. The heart of Bagni Vignoni is quite magical: you'll find an absolutely unique tiny hamlet with a series of ancient buildings all surrounding the central Renaissance-era swimming thermal water pool with its beautiful arcades.
With determination and a good base of locally grown grapes, the wines of all of the other wine producers in the area not falling in either of those areas have created the DOC appellation for the Val d’Orcia. These have started drawing attention considering their high quality and diversity. The Orcia DOC is a recent addition to the recognized denomination wines in Tuscany, acquiring their official designation on February 14, 2000.
Two of the Tuscany's local grapes - the Sangiovese, a red variety, and Trebbiano, a white grape - excel in this area and they are the base for the wines which are produced under the Orcia Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) status.
The DOC red wine is composed of at least 60% Sangiovese and the remaining 40% is a blend of other varieties.
The dry white wine and Vin Santo style DOC wines are composed of at least 50% Trebbiano with other local grapes filling out the rest of the blend.

The region has everything that visitors to Tuscany come to see and experience, from the powerhouse DOCG wines of Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile to spa towns like Bagno Vignoni, whose "baths" in the public square are fed by springs of Monte Amiata, which marks the southern boundary of the territory.
There are abbeys and gardens--and that zig-zagged strada bianca lined with cypresses that has come to be a symbol of this territory and reflects Criterion (iv) of the UNESCO nomination: "The Val d'Orcia is an exceptional reflection of the way the landscape was re-written in Renaissance times to reflect the ideals of good governance and to create aesthetically pleasing pictures."

MorpholoVal d'orcia Pienzagically speaking, the Orcia Valley turns up as a vast clayey offshoot which still maintains heaps of tufa with golden and soft sandstone, running non stop towards Mount Amiata and Cetona.
The clay downs which once frightened the travellers along the Roman Road maintain their ancient beauty, but the relentess encroachment of modernity has contributed to the modification of the appearance of the country in several areas.

The River Orcia runs south of San Quirico through a typically Tuscan landscape (the countryside presents a picture of undulating hillsides dotted with clumps of cypress trees).
The via Francigena, used by pilgrims and merchants in the Middle Ages, passes through the valley.
In the distance, you will be able to see small towns capped with mighty fortresses, such as Rocca d'Orcia or Castiglione d'Orcia, while the thermal station of the hamlet of Bagno Vignoni provides a relaxing interlude.

The landscape of Val d’Orcia is part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena, redrawn and developed when it was integrated in the territory of the city-state in the 14th and 15th centuries to reflect an idealized model of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing picture.
The landscape’s distinctive aesthetics, flat chalk plains out of which rise almost conical hills with fortified settlements on top, inspired many artists.


Val d’Orcia Regione Toscana

Ciò che rende unica la Val d’Orcia è frutto della visione comune delle realtà che ne fanno parte, i Comuni di Castiglione d’Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, Radicofani e San Quirico d’Orcia.
I Comuni di: Castiglione d'Orcia Montalcino Pienza Radicofani San Quirico d'Orcia Vi danno il benvenuto in Valdorcia
Anche la Val d'Orcia, come tutte le Terre di Siena, offre prodotti enogastronomici di ottima qualità: l'olio, che si trova al centro dell'agricoltura toscana, la profumata spezia dello zafferano coltivata ed esportata fin dal Medioevo, i formaggi, in particolare il famoso Pecorino di Pienza e i vini rossi...
La Val d'Orcia, come tutta la Toscana, è celebre in tutto il mondo come simbolo di civiltà laica. Anche le più piccole comunità sono gelose della loro indipendenza, le questioni della politica locale si discutono animatamente in ogni dove.
Autentico scrigno di natura e paesaggi, la Val d'Orcia accoglie alcuni dei centri storici più interessanti del Senese e dell'intera Toscana. Dalle strade, alle piazze, alle chiese, lo sguardo spazia verso grandi orizzonti dei colli. Castelli, borghi, torri e monasteri isolati completano il quadro...

Il magnifico paesaggio della Val d'Orcia, tra le colline toscane, è stato inserito nella World Heritage List dall'Unesco nel 2004.
La Val d'Orcia, connubio di arte e paesaggio, spazio geografico ed ecosistema, è l'espressione di meravigliose caratteristiche naturali ma è anche il risultato e la testimonianza della gente che vi ha abitato.
Secondo l'Unesco questa valle è un eccezionale esempio di come il paesaggio naturale sia stato ridisegnato nel Rinascimento e rispecchia gli ideali del "buon governo" (XIV e XV sec.) tipici della città-stato italiana, i cui splendidi luoghi sono stati celebrati dai pittori della Scuola Senese, fiorita tra il XIII ed il XV secolo.
Le immagini della Val d'Orcia ed in particolar modo le riproduzioni dei suoi paesaggi, in cui si raffigura la gente vivere in armonia con la natura, sono così divenute icone dell'epoca rinascimentale.
Si tratta di opere d’arte capaci di andare al di là del valore artistico per trascendere in quello architettonico, ambientale e sociale.
Dolci colline ricoperte da una fitta vegetazione di vigneti, oliveti, cipressi, faggeti e castagneti, interrotta da antichi abitati di origine medievale, case rurali e rocche con torri impervie che si disperdono nell'isolata e tranquilla natura dei luoghi: è questo lo scenario che si presenta agli occhi del visitatore della Val d’Orcia, scenario suggestivo, proprio come ritratto dai maestri della Scuola Senese.
Cinque milioni di anni di storia geologica hanno lasciato il segno su questo territorio che oggi presenta una peculiare varietà di specie vegetali ed animali.

Le vedute mozzafiato di questa zona della Toscana, fonte di ispirazione per molti pittori soprattutto rinascimentali, sono costellate di piccoli borghi, castelli, abbazie ed antiche pievi, ognuno con la sua propria ed affascinante storia da raccontare.
Il tempo, qui, sembra scorrere ancora ad un ritmo lento e pacato; puoi goderti l'eternità racchiusa in ogni singolo attimo. La Val d'Orcia, come se non bastasse, è anche ricca di prodotti di altissima qualità, come il Brunello di Montalcino, il Vino Nobile di Montepulciano ed il Rosso d'Orcia giusto per menzionare alcuni tra i vini più conosciuti e famosi al mondo, ma anche il pecorino di Pienza (rinomato e squisito formaggio di pecora, prodotto con il latte dei soli animali cresciuti ed allevati nella colline circostanti), l'olio extra vergine di oliva, lo zafferano, i funghi, le castagne, i tartufi, il cinghiale e molte altre specialità.

Val d’Orcia Tuscany region What to see Best hidden gems in italy Selected websites Top experiences Tourist attractions guides travel blogs.. Itinerari Percorsi e Siti turistici in Val d’Orcia Top sights in Val d’Orcia ...


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http://www.cretedisiena.com/Val_d_Orcia/english.htm
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https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1026/
https://www.tourinvaldorcia.com/
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