Discovering Val d’Orcia
Orcia Valley is the most traditional picture of Tuscany, it stretches through green hills, creeks, and cypresses that go along the medieval Cassia road and the Fracigena. This area has been inhabited by Etruscans, Romans, and Lombards and is full of villages, castles, and churches.
Nowadays the Orcia Valley is mostly characterized by nature, thanks to its Natural and Artistic Park and the spa of Bagno Vignoni and Bagni San Filippo. Monte Oliveto Maggiore Monastry deserves a visit, as well as Montalcino with its 13th century fortress and the possibility to taste the famous Brunello di Montalcino.
Other places to visit are: SantAntimo, one of the more beautiful gothic churches, where it is still possible to hear the fascinating Gregorian chants. In San Quirico, another small Medieval village, it is possible to taste another ancient product, the saffron.
Pienza is a jewel of Renaissance art, where you can taste typical products, such as pecorino cheese, Fossa cheese (which is matured under-heart with nut-tree leaves) and truffle.