Val d'Orcia & Crete Senesi...

"Why do you go walking so often in the southern of Siena?

There's nothing there!". That's what my dad asked me years ago.

Then he came with me and he changed his mind. 

No one cannot help but fall in love with this immense open space!

This dry, little wooded, sparsely inhabited, eroded clay land, it has been drawn by humans by cypresses, hedges and charming hamlets... that's why those ROLLING HILLS are an UNESCO site!

Orcia Valley - San Quirico , Francigena route + Bagno Vignoni spa

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Details

 

Length of the walk:  about 14 Km / 8,7 miles  (about 4h, 30 min). It's possible to do only half walk village to village. 

Rating: easy to moderate.

Options: Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant or Pic-nic lunch / Swim in the natural spa (in summer) or in one of the many spa hotels' swimming pools (the whole year). 

Highlights

  • The famous Francigena route, a pilgrimage path that connected Europe with Rome in Medieval times; 

  • San Quirico village and its charming Orti Leonini garden, the ancient Collegiata and the narrow medieval streets; 

  • Bagno Vignoni and its "water square"

  • The spa

  • The Valley of Mills and its natural spa

  • The gorgeous landscape 

  • The silence pathways in the middle of clay hills 

What's better than a swim in a spa
after a walking day?!
Orcia Valley - Montalcino and Sant'Antimo Abbey 

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Details

 

Length of the walk: about 11 Km / 6,8 miles (about 4h).  It's possible to do only half walk by reaching an intermediate starting point.

Rating: easy to moderate.

Options: Wine tasting and visit of a farm Pic-nic or Lunch in a typical Tuscan osteria. 

Highlights 

  • Montalcino, its huge fortress, its many churches and the fabulous landscape

  • The charming St. Antimo Abbey, founded by Charles the Great according to the legend

  • Brunello vineyards

  • Walk in a spectacular panoramic path

A spiritual experience
in between nature and art   
Orcia Valley - From Pienza to Montepulciano by Monticchiello

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Details

 

Length of the walk:  about 16 Km / 10 miles  (about 5h, 30 min). It's possible to do only half walk (from Montepulciano to Monticchiello or from Monticchiello to Pienza).

Rating: easy to moderate.

Options: Pecorino (sheep milk cheese) tasting and visit of a farm /Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant or Pic-nic lunch. 

Highlights

  • Pienza, the ideal city of Pius II

  • Montepulciano, called the "pearl of 1500" because of its impressive renaissance style buildings

  • The history of Etruscans: in Montepulciano many cellars are where Etruscans tombs were!

  • Monticchiello and the history of the World War II in Orcia Valley

  • Pecorino cheese production 

  • The Orcia Valley landscape during the centuries

Walking in between two unique renaissance towns
Orcia Valley - Pienza and San Quirico by Madonna di Vitaleta

Details

 

Length of the walk:  about 12 Km / 7,4 miles  (about 4h, 30 min).

Rating: easy to moderate.

Options: Olive oil tasting / Pecorino (sheep milk cheese) tasting and visit of a farm Lunch in a Typical tuscan restaurant or Pic-nic lunch.

Highlights

  • Pienza, the ideal city of Pius II

  • San Quirico village and its charming Orti Leonini garden, the ancient Collegiata and the narrow medieval streets; 

  • The geology of clay hills 

  • Pecorino cheese production 

  • Olive oil production 

  • The Orcia Valley landscape during the centuries

  • The fascinating chapel of Vitaleta, one of the most photographed places in Italy

An outstanding landscape:
rolling hills on the moon surface 

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Orcia Valley - From San Quirico to Montalcino

Details

 

Length of the walk:  about 13 Km / 8 miles (about 4h, 30 min). 

Rating: easy to moderate.

Options: Wine tasting and visit of a farm Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant or Pic-nic lunch.

Highlights

  • Montalcino, its huge fortress, its many churches and the fabulous landscape

  • San Quirico village and its charming Orti Leonini garden, the ancient Collegiata and the narrow medieval streets

  • The geology of clay hills 

  • The Orcia Valley landscape during the centuries;

  • Brunello vineyards

  • Walk in a spectacular panoramic path

A scenic walk to "conquer"
montalcino fortress 

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Crete Senesi - Leonina and the clay erosion

Details

 

Length of the walk:  about 7 Km / 4,3 miles (about 3h). 

Rating: easy.

When: particularly recommended at the sunset. 

Highlights

  • The "mammelloni", the "calanchi" and the "biancane": the 3 kinds of clay erosion

  • The "Lauretana" pilgrimage road

  • The Leonina fortified villa 

  • The contemporary art: "Site transitoire" by Jean Paul Philippe

  • The spectacular rolling hills of crete (in Tuscan it means "clay")

  • Cypresses and sheep

  • Siena by the distance 

One of the most beautiful walk in siena surroundings

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Crete Senesi - From Buonconvento to Monte Oliveto by Chiusure

Highlights

  • The impressive Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and the famous frescoes into the main cloister, painted by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, nicknamed the "Sodoma", during the XVI century.

  • Buonconvento hamlet, elected as "one of the most beautiful burg in Italy"

  • Chiusure, a village up on a hill, eroded by the weather: the view from the top garden is just breathtaking. It's well known for the artichokes production

  • The gorgeous landscape 

  • The silence pathways in the middle of clay hills and its interesting geology

Details

 

Length of the walk:  about 14 Km / 8,7 miles  (about 4h, 30 min). 

Rating: moderate.

Options: Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant or Pic-nic lunch. Visit of Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey

A great walk, with an amazing view and a deep experience in the art of the XVI century

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Crete Senesi - San Giovanni d'Asso: the land of truffles and shepherds

Details

 

Length of the walk:  about 8 Km / 5 miles  (about 3h, 30 min). 

Rating: easy to  moderate.

Options: Lunch in a typical Tuscan restaurant or Pic-nic lunch / Truffle hunting with dogs and a professional hunter / Visit of a cheese producer. It's possible to add the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. 

Highlights

  • San Giovanni d'Asso fortress

  • The history of transhumance in the Crete Senesi until the World War II: was hard to be a shepherd!

  • The sheep farming today

  • The silence pathways in the middle of clay hills and its interesting geology

  • The truffle hunting 

Following the shepherd's paths,
in the beauty of clay hills 

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Those are just few samples of tours
I can organize for you.
Write me an email explaining what your main interests are: nature, history, art,
architecture, wine, food...
I'll be glad to prepare YOUR perfect tour!  

Mobile number

0039 333 1911322
 

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© 2019 by Sara Testi 

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Iscritta al Registro Italiano delle Guide Ambientali Escursionistiche con il n° TO431 - professione svolta ai sensi della legge 4/2013 - V.A.T. / P.Iva 01279960528