Val d’Orcia, a land of love stories

The backdrop to romantic adventures for couples and the set for heart-breaking films, all of the Val d’Orcia is soaked in romance.



In Val d'Orcia you breathe an air of love and romance: it is a feeling that vibrates in the sunset views and echoes in the halls of elegant historical palaces, where great love stories come to life.

This territory was the backdrop of passionate love stories, some created by the minds of great artists brought to the big screen, others were real and solid like the stones of the places where they unfolded. Going over these stories means venturing in an overwhelming route, made of passion, dances and nostalgia.

Pienza has been on many occasions a set for extraordinary films, signed by big names; among these, two in particular – both of which obtained an Oscar award – tell the story of a pursued, heart-breaking and impossible love.
Zeffirelli chose Palazzo Piccolomini for the set of Romeo and Juliet, probably the most well-known Shakespearean tragedy, as the Capulets house: the dance during which the two future unfortunate lovers meet up takes place in the cloister of the palace. 

In the countryside around Pienza, where perhaps in the past there was a clay field, the Monastery of Sant'Anna in Camprena served as a location for another film of international renown, The English Patient. It is here that the sad story of László and Katharine is told, as remembered by the protagonist during his stay in hospital.

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On the contrary, long and happy are the stories of couples who had their dwelling in Val d'Orcia, and a patch of land where they created something that spoke about their bond. It was so for Isabella and Odoardo Luchini at Radicofani: at the end of the 19th century, Odoardo commissioned the design of a unique garden for his wife, which has an esoteric feeling, with the footpaths winding through nature growing free and in harmony with its designers, called Bosco Isabella in honour of his spouse.

A similar story is that of Iris and Antonio Origo, who during the 1920s, after having purchased La Foce estate, which was in a state of bad disrepair, dedicated their time to give it new life, by creating - with the villa and garden - small masterpieces of architecture and botany, a symbol of the strong bond and synergy of the couple.

Going through Val d'Orcia you come across places that often hide treasures of extreme beauty and value, kept in churches and museums, as well as a wilderness which is sweet but also sour, crossed by historical routes and unpaved roads, perfect for strolling hand in hand, through time and kilometres.


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