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The Val D’orcia and Siena

The Via Cassia: from Siena to Rome

The history of commerce between Rome and North Italy also passes through the via Cassia, the ancient consular road that connected Siena to Rome. It’s a fast road but calls for a relaxed driving and awakens the pleasure of following with eyes the landscape in motion. Leaving from Siena, follow southbound the Cassia, which, for long, follows the ancient via Francigena, towards the Val d'Arbia through places of great historical importance.

Passing through the towns of Monteroni and Lucignano that mark the route before reaching Buonconvento. We are going through one of the historic barns of Italy. The most important traces of history and ancient rural culture of this land are the granges, department stores of grain and food that, among other things, was also a base for the poor, sick and needy pilgrims. Characteristic element of the granges Siena is an imposing defensive structure. Along this route, just before the town of Monteroni d'Arbia, it meets one of the most important granges, namely that of Cuna.

 

After 27 km you reach Buonconvento; in its rectangular plan, once bounded by walls, it conserves monumental buildings bearing witness to an important past. Once passed Buonconvento, shortly after Torrenieri, Cassia overlooking the unique landscape of the Val d'Orcia near San Quirico. The look will catch the glimpse perhaps best known identifying the Tuscan countryside characterized by the group of cypresses emerging from the undulating land.

Val d’Orcia following the Cassia

Here begins the most spectacular stretch of the Cassia, passing between Pienza and Montalcino, you will reach the village of Bagno Vignoni, with its magnificent square of water. Water here is very important. Park of the Mills of San Quirico and the thermal waters of Bagno Vignoni, continue on the slopes of Amiata (ancient volcano) to Bagni San Filippo, another spa town where the water flows through the veins of the earth at about 50 degrees.

Here you leave the Cassia, turning left towards the spectacular fortress of Radicofani from whose tower you will enjoy an unequaled panorama over the Val d'Orcia. The castle of Radicofani had considerable strategic importance on the Via Francigena and links its fame to the history of Ghino di Tacco, a senese rebel, mentioned by Dante in the sixth canto of the Purgatorio and by Boccaccio in the Decameron, which was expelled from Siena and settled here his home. At the end, following the hot springs, you will meet San Casciano dei Bagni, a place to find comfort in the warmth of a relaxing steam at the foot of Mount Cetona, immersed in an environment rich in history and nature.

 

Tips and info

This is not a one day tour as you may imagine, so you will need a car, that you can rent in Siena. Ask our staff for info and also on the best road indications to get to the different places. This itinerary s also reach of wine and food suggestions and our staff will be glad to guide you on your tasty shopping.

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