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When you think of Tuscany, typically green rolling hills, vineyards, and rows of Cypress trees come to mind. These mental images are likely based on photographs that you’ve seen of the Val d’Orcia region. The region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and for a good reason. The pristine, agricultural landscape of Val d’Orcia’s valley continuously seems to go on forever. As you cruise from one fortressed hilltop town to the next, along with the winding, countryside roads, follow the pathway of Medieval pilgrims venturing from Canterbury to Rome on Via Francigena.
Val d’Orcia, Tuscany Travel Tips –
Pack a Swimsuit –
Although you are landlocked, this region is full of natural hot springs that are the perfect relaxing counterpart to your wine tasting adventures.
Rent a Car –
Both getting to Val d’Orcia and transportation within the area are not well connected by train. So renting a car is a must. Luckily, it is a reasonable drive from both Rome and Florence.
Book in Advance –
At many of the recommended wineries and restaurants, appointments and reservations are typically required in advance.
VAL D’ORCIA, TUSCANY TRAVEL GUIDE
What to Do in Val d’Orcia –
Day Trip to Pienza-
This Renaissance town is beyond darling. It is an ideal example of Italian 15th Century architecture, in addition to its unbeatable valley views. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is definitely worth a day trip for a stroll through the town and shopping for Pecorino di Pienza, an incredible sheep’s milk cheese native of the town.
Relax at the Hot Springs –
Val d’Orcia is full of natural hot springs. It is not only a perfect way to relax while on holiday, but also enjoy the diversity of nature within the region.
Eat, Drink & Shop in Montepulciano –
This town is uniquely both Medieval and Renaissance. With limited car access, it is a small hike to the center, but well worth it. Trust me, there will be plenty of wine shops awaiting the renowned Nobile di Montepulciano at the top. The winding, pedestrian streets, charming wine shops, restaurants, and boutiques are the perfect place to explore for the day.
Lunch & Wine Tasting in Montalcino –
This is by far one of my favorite places in the region. Head over for lunch, and walk over the copious amounts of traditional Tuscan cuisine with a stroll around the town. Following, head to some amazing wineries to taste the coveted, Brunello di Montalcino.
Explore the Smaller Villages –
Be sure to look beyond the well-known towns of the region, and stop in some of the smaller, hidden gems for a true taste of charming, countryside living. San Quirico d’Orcia, Bagno Vignoni, and Rocca d’Orcia are well worth a stop.
Wine Tasting in Val d’Orcia –
Casato Prime Donne, Località Casato, 17, Montalcino –
Italy’s first winery to employ only women for the entirety of the winemaking process is definitely worth making an appointment at. Not to mention, their non-traditional take on the tasting experience involves contemporary art installations and a guided tasting through the property is incredibly unique and interesting.
Biondi Santi, Localita’ Il Greppo, 183, Montalcino –
Experience where it all started at the now world-renowned winery that invented Brunello di Montalcino.
Podere Forte, Localita’ Pod. Petrucci, 13, Castiglione d’Orcia –
Biodynamic wine producer, Pasquale Forte, melds the worlds of scientific agriculture and the cultural heritage of the region’s winemaking at his state of the art winery.