The Val d’Orcia is a large valley placed in the heart of the Sienese area in Tuscany: a peculiar landscape made of hills, ravines, the winding course of the Orcia river, the cypresses along the roads and the Mount Amiata. The landscape, marked by the Medieval route of Via Cassia, is characterized by oak woods, olive groves and vineyards where very good oils and wines are produced. On the hills stand villages and monuments of Medieval origins such as Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Monticchiello and Bagni Vignoni where there are thermal springs. In this area the tradition of “good and genuine food” is still alive: in the restaurants the chefs cook like the old housewives, while simple and wholesome dishes are prepared with great ability during popular gastronomic festivals.
In the Val d’Orcia the rural culture has never surrendered to modern progress, so our hosts are received in beautiful stone farmhouses with old-fashioned hospitality and friendliness.
The Val di Chiana is an area with beautiful arable lands and red sunsets behind smooth hills. It was the Etruscans’ country where agriculture and old traditions are still flourishing in the Medieval villages. It goes from Arezzo to Orvieto and includes important villages such as Cetona, Chiusi, Montepulciano, Sarteano, Trequanda, Torrita e Sinalunga, most of which declared “the most beautiful Villages in Italy”.
The valley offers a lot of gastronomic, cultural and landscape points of interest. The visit can begin from the South where the old centre of Cetona is dominated by the mountain with the same name: here you can taste typical products and very good traditional dishes. If you wish to relax, you can go to the spas in San Casciano dei Bagni or Chianciano. Montepulciano is famous for excellent wines guaranteed by the Consorzio del Nobile.
Farther on Monticchiello and Castiglioncello sul Trinoro stand at the boundary line between Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia. Going downhill you find Sarteano, towered by the Medieval castle, and Chiusi, the Etruscan capital: a visit to the National Archaeological Museum is a must.