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Val D’Orcia: a Unesco Patrimony

Reading the criterion Unesco took as a reasons to declare this land a World Heritage (2004), make you understand what you will experience, if you have the chance to come here for a while. “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 an aesthetically pleasing pictures.

The landscape of the Val d’Orcia was celebrated by painters from the Siennese School, which flourished during the Renaissance. Images of the Val d’Orcia, and particularly depictions of landscapes where people are depicted as living in harmony with nature, have come to be seen as icons of the Renaissance and have profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking.” 

Travelling from Siena to Val d’Orcia, you will breathe the original rural atmosphere, created in 14th and 15th century by the merchant Tuscan society, who had a very sensible sense of beauty. The estates owned by merchants were divided into small properties and cultivated by families who lived on the land and where designed to be efficient, functional, equitable and aesthetically pleasing. Tuscan people achieved, through the ages, to preserve this area, offering us one of the most beautiful experiences in Italy.

A dreaming itinerary

Leave Siena and go southward to the little borough of Asciano: you will pass through the “Crete Senesi”, a magnificent landscape, golden color like, especially amazing in summer. Stop at one of the symbols of mystic Tuscany, the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore (absolutely to visit the old library, the pharmacy, the church), and then go on to Montalcino, a beautiful borough very well known for its special wine.

You can also make a last stop at Quirico D’Orcia, once directly on the Francigena route and near the famous borough of Bagno Vignoni with its ancient roman hotsprings. An alternative itinerary will lead you to Pienza, the ideal town built by Pope Pio II, Enea Silvio Piccolomini who wanted the town as a center of culture. The center town is a Unesco Patrimony. Last but not least, San Giovanni d’Asso, an ancient fortified castle and the capital of the white truffle.

Tips

Late spring or better summer are the best period to visit this special area: the harvest has already been done and the gold of the dry wheat mix together with the yellow of the chalk hills. The railway system of Tuscany does not allow you to take the tour that we suggested, so rent a car. Special hours to make fantastic shooting, early in the morning or at Sunset.

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