Val d'Orcia

The Territory

La Val d'Orcia is the ideal location for who loves spending a holiday in contact with nature, with endless possibilities of taking long walks or going on mountain-bike excursions in the vast countryside.
The valley is an important natural, artistic and cultural park and, thanks to the excellent state of preservation of its landscape and a smart management of human activity and construction works, it was recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site on 2nd July 2004.
Montalcino is nestled at 564 m above sea level, on a hill that dominates the valleys of the rivers Orcia, Arbia and Ombrone. Inhabited since the Etruscan and Roman age, it is remembered by Liutprand, king of the Lombards, in his memories of the year 715 DC as well as in a document signed by Louis the Pious who, in 814, ordered the construction of the Abbey of Sant'Antimo.
Part of the nineteen medieval towers, old fountains and the monumental fortress constructed shortly after the first half of the 14th century and inside which the standard of the people who fled the siege of Siena can be admired, still stand surrounded by walls opening on six gates. A symbol of the culture and identity of Siena until 1555, the fortress was the last refuge of the republican government from imperialists under Charles V, and embodied the strenuous defence of the territory of Siena that stretches out to the woods of the Maremma and the feet of Mount Amiata. In addition to the stunning views, numerous medieval constructions can also be admired: the Palazzo Comunale, a stone building decorated with standards and dominated by a high tower, which used to host the priori (first citizens); the monumental gothic, round-arched arcades from the 14th and 15th centuries; the neoclassic cathedral built on a pieve (a rural church) from the year 1000 where, inside the chapel of the baptistery, interesting sculptures are preserved; the sanctuary of Madonna Del Soccorso, built on a church from the 14th century during the 1600s near the gate of Corniolo; the roman-gothic church of Sant’Agostino; the church of Sant’Egidio, also known as Chiesa dei Senesi, dating back to the beginning of the 14th century; the church San Francesco with its square tower.
Montalcino, Pienza, Siena and the numerous castles from the period of the Aldobrandeschi and Sforza families (13th century) nestled on Mount Amiata are just a short drive away. A trip to the seaside or to the thermal baths in Bagno Vignoni or Saturnia is also possible.