Val d'Orcia

Monday, March 6th 2023

Val d'Orcia is a beautiful region in Tuscany, located south of Siena and extending to the slopes of Monte Amiata. The area is known for its stunning landscapes, picturesque towns, and rich history.

The Val d'Orcia has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and during the Middle Ages it was a strategic area that was often contested by various city-states, including Siena and Florence. Today, the region is famous for its vineyards, olive groves, and wheat fields, as well as its stunning scenery, which has made it a popular destination for tourists from around the world.

Some of the must-see sights in Val d'Orcia include:

  1. Pienza: This small town is known for its Renaissance architecture, including the Palazzo Piccolomini, which was built for Pope Pius II in the 15th century. Pienza is also famous for its pecorino cheese, which is made from the milk of local sheep. This charming town is located in the heart of Val d'Orcia and offers a variety of accommodations, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and agriturismos.

  2. Montalcino: This hilltop town is famous for its Brunello di Montalcino wine, which is considered one of the best in Italy. The town is also home to a number of historic landmarks, including the 14th-century fortress that overlooks the town. Montalcino offers a variety of accommodations, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and farm stays.

  3. San Quirico d'Orcia: This medieval town is known for its beautiful architecture, including the 12th-century Romanesque church of Collegiata di San Quirico. This medieval town is located at the crossroads of several major roads in the region, making it a convenient base for exploring Val d'Orcia. There are several hotels and bed and breakfasts located in and around the town.

  4. Abbey of Sant'Antimo: This historic abbey dates back to the 9th century and is located in a scenic valley near Montalcino. The abbey is known for its beautiful Romanesque architecture and is still used for religious services today.

  5. The Crete Senesi: This area of the Val d'Orcia is known for its striking landscapes, which are characterized by rolling hills, cypress trees, and winding roads. The area is particularly beautiful at sunrise and sunset.

Whether you are interested in history, art, or simply want to enjoy the stunning scenery, the Val d'Orcia is a must-visit destination in Tuscany.

Best time to visit

As for the best time to visit Val d'Orcia, the region is beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. The spring and fall months (April to June and September to November) offer mild temperatures and beautiful scenery, while the summer months (July and August) can be hot and crowded. The winter months (December to March) can be cold and rainy, but they offer the advantage of fewer crowds and lower prices. Ultimately, the best time to visit depends on your personal preferences and what you want to see and do in Val d'Orcia.