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Val d’Orcia villages

  • Val d’Orcia villages

    The Val d’Orcia villages mostly retain their medieval street plan and proud urban spirit, a sense of communal pride at odds with their current status as glorified hamlets. Dignified San Quirico is home to a Romanesque parish church made from sandstone and local travertine, with three remarkable portals and columns supported by two stony lionesses. Its adjacent park, the Horti Leonini, represents classical Italian gardens, complete with geometrical beds. Rocca d’Orcia, a fortified village once owned by the warring Salimbeni clan, has a bold castle, where St Catherine of Siena learnt to read and write. A cypress-clad avenue leads upto the castle, perched on a rocky crag. Castiglione d’Orcia, the last significant settlement before Monte Amiata, is a well­preserved village, with a ruined fortress and expansive views back towards Rocca d’Orcia. A peaceful stroll around the 15th-century hamlet winds back to charming Piazza Il Vecchietta, complete with its photogenic travertine fountain.

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