Val d’Orcia fuses art, landscape and ecosystem in one geographical space, it is considered as the purest expression of a series of marvellous natural characteristics and testament to the people that has long-inhabited it.
According to UNESCO, this Valley is an exceptional exemplar of the way in which a natural setting was redesigned during the Renaissance. The images of Val d’Orcia, and particularly the reproductions of their landscapes, representing humans living in harmony with nature, are in fact icons for the Renaissance Age.
Gently-rolling hills covered in the dense vegetation of vineyards, olive groves, cypresses, beech and chestnut trees alternate with Medieval habitations, rural villas and castles boasting impervious towers, in a tranquilly-isolated nature, an evocative area shaped by a five-million year of geological.
Wine and cheese productions are premium, as this is the cradle of the famed Brunello di Montalcino wine, the Chianti, the Super Tuscans and home to pecorino Toscano cheese of Pienza. Near San Quirico lies the Bagno Vignoni hot springs, a medieval spa centre renowned for its ‘piazza d’acqua’ (literally ‘water square’), which is almost too beautiful to be true.
Home to Vasari, the great artist who designed Uffizi the way they still are today and the setting for much of Roberto Benigni’s Oscar-winning film La vita è bella (Life Is Beautiful), Arezzo and its valley are definitely one of the best three locations to visit in Tuscany.