Val d'Orcia Travel Guide
The Val d’Orcia is a ravishing rural area running into le Crete Senesi, but within sight of hulking Monte Amiata. For many, this is the loveliest area in Tuscany, with Unesco-listed countryside, perfect hilltop villages, remote abbeys and evocative castles. Foodies, walkers and spa-lovers will take to the thermal spas, rustic inns, myriad wine trails and meditative walks. The Val d’Orcia represents quintessential Tuscany, with clusters of cypresses, ribbons of plane trees, vineyards on the slopes, and farms perched on limestone ridges. But it was not this alone that won the area Unesco World Heritage status – it’s also about the harmony between the Tuscans and their landscape, shaped by their mellow way of life. Once depopulated, these medieval villages are now enjoying a belated renaissance. San Quirico d’Orcia may be the gateway to the area but Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano also make delightful stepping-stones to scenery landscaped since time immemorial.
Essential Val d'Orcia Travel Guide Information
Top Ten Things to Do
These are our Top Ten Things to Do, from gentle drives to soporific spas, from strolls in moody hamlets to medieval abbeys and the vintage Nature Train – all set in Unesco-listed countryside.Read more
Eating & Drinking
The charming Val d’Orcia villages abound in family-run inns and bars in atmospheric settings. The best inns offer Slow Food ingredients, such as prosciutto di cinta senese (cured meat made from an acorn-snuffling, wild-boar-like breed of Sienese pig). Salami are on the menu everywhere, maybe flavoured with wild fennel. This is Sienese territory so expect the stubby pasta known as pici, in every kind of sauce, including game. In autumn, mushroom and chestnut dishes are on the menu, a reminder that the fertile slopes of Monte Amiata are not far away. As for dessert, look out for ricciarelli, Sienese biscuits, tasty, lozenge-shaped almond and candied orange-peel biscuits, a variant on macaroons. These may be served with Vin Santo, Tuscany’s celebrated dessert wine.Read more
Shopping, Parking & Getting Around
The Val d’Orcia is a foodie hotspot so shopping often focuses on edible produce, including speciality foodstuffs that can be taken home or, more likely, devoured in your villa. Expect to be waylaid by tempting small cheese shops, wine-producers and enoteche (wine bars that may double up as wine shops) especially around Pienza. Stock up on local Rosso d’Orcia to quaff overlooking your Tuscan pool, as well as virtually local Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and full-bodied Bruncello di Montalcino. Speciality food shops often follow the seasons in displaying the best mushrooms (funghi porcini), chestnuts and truffles, along with saffron, olive oil and local cheeses. Allow yourself to be tempted by pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese, whether sold by Pienza cheesemakers or even local Sardinian peasants.Read more
Experience an official tuscany tour with
Cinque Terre Tour Small Group Tour by Minivan from Lucca
Discover the five picturesque villages of Cinque Terre scattered along a beautiful stretch of the Mediterranean coast, listed among the most famous and beautiful World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.from 158,26 US Dollar
Florence Palazzo Vecchio and Arnolfo Tower Sunset Tour with Optional Dinner or Aperitivo
Experience one of Florence’s greatest treasures, the Palazzo Vecchio, at sunset on this 1.5-hour tour. With a professional guide, explore the former hub of Florentine power, admiring its art-filled rooms and stunning Hall of the Five Hundred. Then, gaze at twilit Florence on a tour of the battlements, and choose to climb the palace’s Arnolfo Tower for bird’s-eye views. Upgrade to include a traditional 'aperitivo' (a glass of wine and appetizers) or dinner overlooking Piazza della Signoria. Numbers are limited to 25 on the palace tour for a personalized experience.from 41,76 US Dollar
Florence Eco Tour by Electric Golf Cart
Leave no footprints on an eco tour of Florence by electric golf cart and marvel at the landmarks of Piazza Santa Croce, Piazza Signoria and Santa Maria Novella. Learn about the monuments of the Renaissance city via a complimentary MP3 audio guide.
Florence Night Segway Tour
Discover the magic of Florence by night on a 2.5-hour evening Segway tour! On your self-balancing, electric Segway, follow an expert guide around Florence’s charming streets. Visit beautiful city squares, enjoy artisan gelato and see top Florence attractions like Palazzo Vecchio, Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence Duomo and more!
This small-group Florence Segway tour is limited to eight people, ensuring you’ll receive special attention from your guide.