Tours of Tuscany
8 Giugno 2011
8 Giugno 2011

Val d’Orcia

The landscape of Val d’Orcia is part of the agricultural hinterland of Siena. The landscape’s distinctive aesthetics, almost conical hills with fortified settlements on top, inspired many artists. Their images have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes.

Its geographical location is, coming from Rome Italy, right below Siena Italy (in Tuscany). It was 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.

One of the most fascinating communes in the whole Val d’Orcia is Pienza, a little town that dues its name to the Pope Pio II, who was born there. The challenge of the Pope (with the Florentine architect Bernardo Rossellino) was to make Pienza  even more beautiful than Siena.

As for the shopping, the typical local products of the Val d’Orcia are the hand-made ceramics and the pecorino cheese of Pienza.

The best wines which are produced in the Val d’Orcia are:
the red “Brunello di Montalcino” and the “Nobile di Montepulciano”.

In 1996, UNESCO declared Pienza a World Heritage Site, and in 2004 the entire valley, the Val d’Orcia, was included on the list of UNESCO’s World Cultural Landscapes.

All these reasons – and many more…- convinced me to include the Val d’Orcia in our “elite” of Tuscany tours.

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