Why travel to Val d´Orcia in Tuscany?
Tuscany is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and fascinating lands to visit. The ideal is to organize a beautiful trip to discover the Val d’Orcia. Wide valley between the provinces of Grosseto and Siena, the territory of Val d’Orcia extends around Mount Amiata, close to the border with Umbria. The valley is marked by the passage of the river Orcia of which it takes its name and is renowned for its exceptional beauty and the small medieval villages that emerge under its hills. Let’s go to our post of the day? Why travel to Val d´Orcia in Tuscany? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Val d’Orcia is a splendid mosaic of art and nature that has always fascinated artists, writers and poets. In fact, even in the Renaissance era, the greatest painters immortalized the natural landscapes of Val D’Orcia, which became the symbol of prosperity and purity. There are villages, abbeys, fortresses, baths and gardens, but also panoramas and charming walks and monumental trees. Read also The five must-see castles in Tuscany?
Source: Sandrino Luchetti
To go to Val D’Orcia is to take a trip from other times to discover the most fascinating places that this territory offers. Few landscapes are sweeter than the hills of Val D’Orcia, supervised by villages and powerful medieval towers. The landscapes, nature, vineyards and history give this land an extraordinary fascination. Crossed by the river Orcia, which gives it its name, it is characterized by several centers of medieval origin, two of which are very notable, such as Pienza and Montalcino. Read also Shall we get to know Tuscan enogastronomy?
UNESCO World Heritage Site
The valley is also an important natural, artistic and cultural park, and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, for the excellent state of conservation of the panorama, which has had a notable influence on many Renaissance artists. Also read Val d’Orcia wine route?
Val D’Orcia and its Cities
Val D’Orcia is rich in fascinating small towns worth visiting such as Pienza, Montalcino, Castiglione d’Orcia, Radicofani and San Quirico d’Orcia, Bagno Vignone, Montepulciano. Anyway, there are so many cities, but in this post we will only talk about a few, the main ones. Val D’Orcia however is not only known for its dream panoramas but also for its great enogastronomical tradition. Among the products to savor absolutely, we have: the sausages of Cinta senese, the honey of Val D’Orcia, the pecorino cheese of Pienza and the mythical Brunello de Montalcino (red wine). After this short introduction, we will get to know some of the splendid towns. We start with Pienza and then Montalcino. How about a quiet tour of Val D´Orcia? Click here to learn more!
1) Why travel to Val d´Orcia in Tuscany? BECAUSE PIENZA IS THE MOST RENOWNED CENTER
Pienza, the ideal city desired by Pio II, is probably the most renowned and most artistic center in the entire Val D’Orcia. The history of the city is closely linked to that of Enea Silvio Piccolomini, born in Pienza and became Pope in 1458 under the name of Pius II. A great humanist, Pius II wanted to transform his native Pienza from a medieval village into a residence of the Pope in a Renaissance style. Much of Pienza’s relevant historical-artistic heritage is concentrated in the fascinating square dedicated to the pontiff Pius II, a personality that gave the city so much. Don’t miss, Tuscan Wine Routes?
2) Why travel to Val d´Orcia in Tuscany? BECAUSE MONTALCINO IS CHARMING
Another important city in the valley is Montalcino, located northwest of Mount Amiata, at the end of Val D’Orcia, on the border with the province of Grosseto, this small town appears on a charming hill. The name of the city derives from the Latin words mons (mount) and ilex (holm oaks), that is, “mount of the holm oaks”. The municipal territory was inhabited since the Bronze Age and was the seat of an Etruscan settlement where the remains of a temple or fortress in Civitella are. Relevant is the Abbey of Sant’Antimo (St Anthimus), a wonderful complex considered an extraordinary example of Lombard-French Romanesque architecture, built in onyx and alabaster. In all cases, Montalcino is famous, above all for Brunello, a DOCG red wine that can be considered, along with Barolo, the longest-lived Italian red wine.
3) Why travel to Val d´Orcia in Tuscany? BECAUSE SAN QUIRICO D´ORCIA IS A CITY OF OLD ETRUSCAN ORIGINS
We now speak of San Quirico d’Orcia, a city of ancient Etruscan origins. The town’s medieval past is proved by the wall. In part, fourteen towers are still visible, some of which are incorporated into other structures. San Quirico has some churches that are relevant from the historical-artistic point of view, among them the most important is certainly the Collegiata dei Santi Quirico e Giulitta (Collegiate Church of Saints Quirico and Giulitta), which was an old church with an 8th century baptistery. In San Quirico, in the circle of ancient walls, the Hortos Leonini are very different, a well-preserved example of the classic Italian garden. Don’t miss, Agritourism in Tuscany
4) Why travel to Val d´Orcia in Tuscany? BECAUSE CASTIGLIONE D´ORCIA IS PERCHED ON A HILL
Another place in this magical Tuscan valley is Castiglione d’Orcia, located in the center of Val d’Orcia, perched on a hill. The territory of Castiglione d’Orcia, dominated by the massive Rocca d’Orcia, is changeable and spectacular and represents a great resource for agricultural production. One of these agricultural products is the chestnut, in which many local traditions are based, such as the Sagra del Marrone (“Chestnut Festival”) that takes place in fall in Campiglia d’Orcia.
Il Vecchietta Square
The center, with its old paved roads, is picturesque above all in Il Vecchietta Square, dedicated to Lorenzo di Pietro (1412-1480), called Il Vechietta, painter, sculptor and architect. The tour inside Castiglione must also include the splendid Romanesque and recently restored church of S. Maria Maddalena. In the fraction of Rocca d’Orcia we find the best known monument in Castiglione, the tower of Rocca di Tentennano. The numerous fortresses and castles that characterize the area of Castiglione appear, in short, as a phenomenon closely linked to the presence of the Via Francigena, where the origin, at least in that area, does not seem to go beyond the High Medieval.
5) Why travel to Val d´Orcia, in Tuscany? BECAUSE RADICOFANI HAS AN AMAZING VIEW
Finally, but not in beauty and importance, we advise the city of Radicofani. This city appears at the foot of a high volcanic cliff of basaltic rock that rises 896 meters from the sea, offering the view of a beautiful panorama in the Val d’Orcia, Amiata, Appennino and the lakes Trasimero and Bolsena. Do not miss, Castles to stay in Italy?
Radicofani is one of the richest Francigeni places in history and landscape fascination. The city still preserves today all the suggestion of the small medieval villages with their houses in local stone next to each other and with narrow but extraordinarily luminous roads. The fortress is undoubtedly, along with the church of San Pietro and the Posta Medicea, one of the most important medieval monuments of these lands. Radicofani’s story is linked to that of all other cities in Amiata. Ancient medieval village has been on the property of the monks of S. Salvatore Abbey since the monastery was founded.
These entrust the command of the city among the local lords, one at a time. Only with Ghino di Tacco, who has an absolute master, it hurts an autonomous castle, not being subjected to the emperor or other powerful locals. Val d’Orcia is an exceptional example of the redesign of the pre-Renaissance landscape, which illustrates the ideals of good government and the aesthetic demand that guided the design. Celebrated by painters from the Siena school, Val d’Orcia has become an icon of the landscape, which has profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking.
Why travel to Val d´Orcia in Tuscany? Sweet hills covered with dense vegetation of vineyards, olives, cypresses, beech and chestnut trees, interrupted by old houses of medieval origin, rural houses and fortresses with inaccessible towers that spread through the isolated and tranquil nature of the places. This scenario presents to the eyes of the visitors of the Val d’Orcia, spectacular, as well as portrayed by the masters of the School of Siena.
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