Honey and pecorino cheese, the embrace of taste

Scented by the thousands nuances of flowers and wild herbs, the honey and pecorino cheese varieties of the Val d’Orcia are many and all to be tasted.


Pecorino di Pienza 2

In the spring Val d'Orcia is rich with exciting smells of flowers and wild herbs that cover the meadows, announcing the arrival of the good seasons. The essences of the young plants enrich the flavours of the dining table and give birth to two products in particular, excellent to be tasted by themselves and perfect if tasted together: cheese and honey.

Sheep farming is an ancient activity in Val d'Orcia, documented since the Neolithic Age thanks to the archaeological findings of the area; however, it was with the arrival of the Sardinian shepherds and their herds in the 1960s that the production of cheese became a business of great cultural and gastronomical value. Cheeses of any type are produced here, enriched also by the herbs that grow along the pastures between Pienza and Radicofani or processed with traditional techniques: some are wrapped in hay, others are cured under the ashes or in a cave; others are spread with tomato skins or fig leaves or bay leaves. The pecorino cheese that is plunged into wine dregs is very special, cured in wine barrels acquiring a unique back taste that reminds us of grapes.

An opportunity to discover all their nuances is the Trade fair of the Cheese of Pienza, when the streets of the “ideal city” fill up with stalls and tasting counters; the festival, which has been held for decades, reaches its peak with the spectacular Game of the Cacio al Fuso, (Cheese and the spindle) an event not to be missed if you want to experience the authentic atmosphere of the life in the villages.

Forme di pecorino di Pienza 1

To taste the pecorino cheese at its best, you should ideally have it with artisanal compotes or local honey. The multitude of flowers that grow in the countryside of the Val d'Orcia is a real and true coffer of goodies: different nectars give birth to many types of honey, sweeter like millefiori or slightly bitter, like the ether honey, depending on whether you are in Castiglione d'Orcia, Radicofani or Montalcino.
Right in Montalcino there is the most ancient festival of beekeeping in Italy, the Honey Week, during which there are tastings and gourmet dinners, as well as events that disclose all the uses of this product, from cosmetics to liqueurs.

The flavours not to be missed in Val d'Orcia are many and all connected to the gastronomical tradition of each place.  Among these a place of honour is taken by honey and pecorino cheese, that together with the savoury salamis and an excellent glass of wine are always present on the sumptuously laid tables.


Discover the stories, excellences and small secrets kept in villages and in the landscape of Val d'Orcia.