and its natural elements
From the famous cypresses that dot the hills to the nature reserves and parks, where art and nature are one with the World Heritage Site, the ultimate icon of Tuscany in the world.
The landscapes of the Val d'Orcia bear witness to time and history. Here nature has seen centuries go by and civilisations follow one another; each one leaving something. In its own way each one has contributed to creating what it looks like today and will not be easily forgotten.
In being inherently natural this land is varied and heterogeneous: almost wild forests rich with chestnut trees and monumental trees alternate with unusual landscapes, sometimes strange or charming – almost moon-like – where the rock formations called calanchi and biancane show a different side of the territory, far from the imagination of tall cypresses and verdant slopes.
In the sweetest part of the Val d'Orcia, these iconic trees with their foliage reaching for the sky border romantic unpaved roads that invite you to travel them quietly, riding gently through the bends on the wheels of a bike or strolling along the ancient historical roads that pilgrims used to walk on.
But this land is also linked to the fire of volcanoes – like Mount Amiata – and to the rivers that at times can be refreshing or warm: fountains and sources of fresh water flow in the thick of the woods, while the sulphurous smell of spa waters reveals the presence of natural swimming pools, before flowing away into the green land.
The most docile side of the Val d'Orcia, shaped by mankind so that it is not just elegant but also tranquil and protective, is shown in the “museum” gardens or forests where artists have spread contemporary works, at times philosophical and mysterious. Villas with a historical charm have green areas where each plant can find its place in a wider design made of geometries and colours, where you can even find the signature of a great master such as Michelangelo.
In Val d'Orcia nature is an active player not just a simple succession of landscapes: it tells the stories that have unfolded here since before the Etruscans populated the area. A landscape which is a World Heritage Site to be experienced intensely and be protected with care.
San Quirico d'Orcia's "cipressini"
The "cypress circle" stands on a hill along the Cassia Road SS2, close to the junction to Montalcino.
The Gladiator cypresses
The famous landscape of the movie "The Gladiator" is along the road SP 146, going from San Quirico d'Orcia to Pienza, on the left side.
Along the Foce road going from Val d'Orcia to Chianciano Terme there is a panoramic point where the eyes cast from the "Biancane" of the Lucciolabella Nature Reserve to the Mount Amiata.
An interesting point that runs along the Formone river, accessible from the Cassia Road SS2 by taking the deviation to Chianciano Terme after Gallina.
Discover the stories, excellences and small secrets kept in villages and in the landscape of Val d'Orcia.
Discover Val d’Orcia
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