You hardly can find a place more beautiful than Tuscany. As the birthplace of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, Dante and Galileo, Tuscany is recognized as the best region for eco-tourism in Italy and is famous for its magnificent scenery. I invite you to join me for a beautiful walk to breath Tuscanian air and find tranquility in the breathtaking landscapes.
Since 1982, 7 places in Tuscany have been added by UNESCO into the list of the World Heritage Sites Program. The one of the most beautiful places in this list is the Orcia Valley or Val d’Orcia (in Italian).
Travelling throuth the gentle rolling hills, you’ll find nice villages of Montalcino and Pienza surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, magnificent testament to the old rural tradition and the local culinary specialties.
My trip has been started with Montalcino – the beautiful village immersed in the breathtaking Val d’Orcia Natural Park. The town has scarcely changed in appearance since the 16th century. Once you get up to the town, a magnificent spectacle unfolds for your eyes: rolling sunny hills dotted with yellow and red flowers, ancient oak trees, picturesque olive groves, scenic country roads winding through perfect vineyards and isolated cypress trees atop hills.
Montalcino became renowned all over the world for the production of its precious Brunello red wine.
In the 10 km from Montalcino, you can fine the most famous church in the comune – the Abbey of Sant’Antimo (Abbazia di Sant’Antimo), beautiful and evocative abbey built in the 12th century.
Walking around the church, you will remain so deeply impressed by a mystic place surrounded by a whispering silence.
Next stop was Pienza – a pleasant city located about 20 km from Montalcino and a few kilometers west of Montepulciano, among moderate hills and fabulous natural landscapes. This charming town is widely known as “the ideal city of the Renaissance”. Pienza was the realization of future Pope Pius’s II dream, who conceived building a town in the place of his native village, fallowing all of the Renaissance canons. Today it continues to show off to the world its refined and sophisticated Renaissance urban plan.
Perfect proportions amaze you so much that it seems like, wandering through the narrow streets of Pienza, you find yourself inside the Renaissance artist’s painting. It also overwhelms with incredibly poetic street names. Only in Pienza you can walk down Love Street (Via dell’Amore), turn into Kiss Street (Via del Bacio) and stand in Fortune Street (Via della Fortuna).
While walking through the the main street of Pienza, you will find many shops with Pecorino Staggionato di Pienza – probably the most delicious cheese I’ve ever tasted! The town streets are full of charming little shops, selling pecorino so I offer you to make a breack and buy a piece of cheese to understand what I am talking about 🙂
Sunny rolling hills, charming farmhouses and isolated rural homes, avenues of cypresses, rows of vineyards, olive groves, and golden wheat fields are just some of the elements of the fantastic and harmonious landscapes of Val d’Orcia!
Beautiful nature is the actual absolute protagonist in Val d’Orcia, with many different colors according to the season.
You look at these breathtaking landscapes and think that it seems like designers were working on every square meter by choosing colors for the “carpet” of the hills.
I always asked myself: why is Tuscany so eternally popular? After travelling the length and breadth of Italy for the last years, I think I’m getting close to an answer. You come here to explore the extraordinary countryside and find a solitude with nature.
Tuscany is a peaceful paradise where you can discover something special. Walking through the amazing landscapes, you suddenly catch yourself thinking about how soon it will be possible to go back, because you can’t imagine yourself anymore without this place, Tuscany steals your heart forever.
Not a single photo, not even paintings of great artists are able to express the true beauty of this place. It is better to see it with your own eyes.