Along an ancient path and outdoor tracks between nature, spas and fortresses
Numerous routes cross the Val d’Orcia and its beauties, among which the Via Francigena, a centuries-old route which is perfect for an unforgettable walk.
Walking in the countryside of the Val d'Orcia is an unmissable experience in order to discover this land in a slow mode, by immersing oneself completely in the smells and colours that are all around. Whether you choose a long trek or simply a short stroll in total relaxation, it is ideal to follow any routes that cross the small towns and natural landscapes.
The paths that wind through the territories of San Quirico d’Orcia and Pienza are many and different in terms of difficulties: by following the map showing footpaths and recommended walks you can look for the Chapel of Vitaleta or the famous stand of cypresses.
Here, you also have the track of the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrims’ way, which crosses Val d'Orcia in legs 35 and 36. Walking on it only for a short section means to come across jewels of nature and architecture, between the villages and the hills that mark the skyline of this territory.
In fact, along the route you can find San Quirico d'Orcia – where you can visit the Horti Leonini, the romantic Italian garden – and the small centre of Vignoni and the spring waters of Bagno Vignoni, where many historical figures bathed, such as Saint Catherine of Siena. From here your view sweeps over a land dominated by imposing fortresses among the most striking ones of the area, such as Ripa d’Orcia and the Rocca di Tentennano at Rocca d'Orcia, which you can reach via a detour from the original route, in the direction of Castiglione d'Orcia.
The ancient pilgrims’ road winds through the fields and climbs up steadily to reach Radicofani, the last outpost of the Val d'Orcia; this harder section of the route rewards you with exciting views on the valley below. The Rocca di Radicofani, a majestic warden of the borders, deserves to be visited on the tracks of Ghino di Tacco, the local Robin Hood also mentioned by Dante and Boccaccio, whose stone statue rises high to observe the panorama of his village.
Walking along a section of the Via Francigena is like going through centuries of history, an experience that can take place also on the wheels of a bicycle. Many routes, among which that of the Eroica, allow to pedal around the bends, hairpin bends and unpaved roads, enveloped in the beauty and perfume of cypresses.
The stages of the Via Francigena in Val d’Orcia can be explored by visiting the website viafrancigena.visittuscany.com
Discover the stories, excellences and small secrets kept in villages and in the landscape of Val d'Orcia.