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Shopping, Parking & Getting Around

  • Shopping

    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.

  • Abbazia Monte Oliveto Maggiore & Azienda Agricola

    Monte Oliveto Maggiore is the most engaging spot for shopping, whether in the abbey complex itself or via the abbey farm, the Azienda Agricola, also run by white-clad Benedictines. The abbey complex is home to a herbalist’s, selling everything from organic soaps and beauty creams to herbal teas and liturgical music. Call into the Cantina Storica for a free wine-tasting tour of the historic cellars in the abbey complex. Instead, contact the Benedictines’ farm shop or order online for monastic liqueurs, notably Flora di Monteoliveto, along with grappa, wine, olive oil, chickpeas and spelt.

    Web: www.monteolivetomaggiore.it

  • Librorcia Bagno Vignoni

    Is a cosy bookshop with a friendly owner plenty of books in both Italian and English, including guides.

    Address: Via delle Sorgenti 38, 53027 Bagno Vignoni (SI)
    Web: www.librorcia.com

  • Parking & Getting Around

    This is one of Tuscany’s loveliest areas and to be savoured slowly. The winding roads are designed for drama not speed, even if its beauty makes it the classic route for Ferrari fans out to impress. For remote beauty, we single out the Crete Senesi routes (the SS438 to Asciano, and the SP451 to Monte Oliveto Maggiore) and any gentle meanderings between the villages of Castiglione d’Orcia, Vivo d’Orcia and Campiglio d’Orcia, with views of ruined fortresses at every turn. The route south to Monte Amiata and Roccalbenga is also scenic, as are the routes north to Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano. Towards Monte Amiata, the mountain roads are tortuous but beautiful.
    Parking is tricky in summer in Bagno Vignoni but you can park just outside the village at the crossroads with the Via Cassia and then walk into the centre.

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