Val d'Orcia in Tuscany - a marvelous landscape of never-ending
hills, grain fields, and streams, with rich clay and tufa soils; the
Valdorcia is today the real icon of Tuscany, a natural setting of extraordinary
beauty. It has become known all over the world as the classic Tuscan
landscape. Important films like the Oscar winners The English Patient,
La Vita è Bella and The Gladiator were shot here just few minutes
from our farmhouse, as well as Romeo and Juliet directed by Franco Zeffirelli,
and most recently Under the Tuscan Sun, cementing the Val D’Orcia’s
beauty in cinematic history.
The people of the Val D'Orcia area have resisted the pressures of progress
and retained the traditions of the region safeguarded the relationship
between man and the environment, particularly that of hospitality, which
was offered to visitors particularly during the time the great pilgrimages.
Well worth visiting: the villages of Pienza, Castelmuzio, Castiglione
D’Orcia, Montefollonico, Monte Oliveto, Monticchiello, Petrolio,
Radicofoni and Bagno Vignoni. The Church of St Anna, the Church of St
Antimo and the Church of Spedaletto are all beautiful. There are many
routes to be followed on foot or on bike.
If you want to spend your holiday in Val'Orcia you might check the following web sites for a real good accommodation:
The Val d'Orcia is part of the Unesco's Heritage
List and is universally recognized as one of the most beautiful
landscapes on Earth.
July 2004 Justification for Inscription Criterion (iv):
This stunning landscape was celebrated by Renaissance painters from
nearby Siena. The Val D’Orcia was, and still is, seen as an ideal
representation of man coexisting in harmony with nature. Images of the
Val D’Orcia and its inhabitants have come to be seen as icons
of the Renaissance and have profoundly influenced the development of
landscape art, engineering and philosophy in modern Tuscany.
The Val D’Orcia flourished in the 14th and 15th centuries when
it was colonized by the city-state of Siena. The landscape’s distinctive
aesthetics, flat chalk plains out of which rise almost conical hills
with fortified settlements on top, inspired many artists. Their images
have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural
landscapes. The inscription covers a planned colonized agrarian and
pastoral landscape reflecting innovative land management systems; several
towns and villages, each unique; farmhouses; and the original Roman
road the Via Francigena and its associated abbeys, inns, shrines and
The traveller who happens to pass along the Cassia State Road 2 [SS2], coming from either the north or the south, discovers a landscape such that even the most unaware and distracted wayfarer cannot fail to understand that he has reached an enchanted place.