Val d'Orcia
Historic Sites • Valleys
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AlbertSalichs
Manresa, Spain10,426 contributions
Aug 2019 • Family
Val d'Orcia (Orcia Valley) is located in the center of Tuscany Region, in Italy. Really here you can see the typical wonderful landscapes in Tuscany with cypress, big plains, vineyards. Incredible! We arrived in sunset and it was really fantastic! one of the best views in Tuscany. We came here. in summer 2019 with my 3 years old daughter and she enjoyed a lot seeing the views, playing and running on the land and we enjoyed a lot with the these great landscapes. Top in Tuscany!
Written May 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BobConklin
Portland, OR151 contributions
Sep 2012 • Couples
I've been to nearly every part of Italy (except Sardinia), and the Val d'Orcia stands out among them as uniquely lovely. It is less developed and less touristy than other major Italian destinations. Partly this is due to its having perhaps the most stringent land use regulations in the world -- and more recently to its having been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- so that there is virtually no modern development and the whole area comes across as being completely unspoiled. It is largely agricultural countryside, with fields of wheat, sunflowers, livestock, and vineyards spread over gently rolling hills with intermittent patches of untouched native forest. The landscape is dotted with quaint, charming medieval villages, some all but unknown, such as Bagno Vignoni, San Casciano dei Bagni, and Monticchiello, a tiny gem of a village, plus some better known towns such as Pienza (famous for its pecorino cheese), Montepulciano and Montalcino (famous for their local wines). The entire valley is dominated by Monte Amiata, the highest mountain in Tuscany, covered with fantastic beech forests, hiking trails, and a wildlife preserve -- a great place to escape from the summer heat on the valley floor. The entire valley is a treasure. If I were going to live in Italy (which is very tempting), it would be here. My favorite place to stay in the Val d'Orcia, incidentally, is La Foce, for which you can see my separate review under that name.
Written March 13, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Heli K
Lappeenranta, Finland1,287 contributions
May 2019 • Friends
I visited Tuscany in the beginning of May and as a part of our trip we drove from Siena to Val d'Orcia area ( road Via Cassia (SR2)). We used Discover Tuscany web site's tips for those who only have 24 hours when we planned the trip and our route.

Our first pit stop was a small medieval village Buenconvento where we had just ice creams. If you have just one day - do not stop - drive directly to Val d'Orcia area. From this tiny village we continued to Pienza, also UNESCO World Heritage site, and then to Montepulciano where we also stayed the night.

This was my first time in Val d'Orcia and I just loved it. And one day was absolutely too little. I will definitely go back and I am also curious to see this area in summer time as well as harvest time when everything is golden yellow. In May everything was amazingly green - so green that it is hard to imagine - so differently green than e.g. in Finland where we also have lots of forest. Val d'Orsia was rolling green hills, cypresses as in post cards, hilltop towns, castles, breathtaking sceneries, small country roads....

So when driving there make sure that you are not in a hurry because after every curve you - at least I did - want to stop and take pictures. The beauty of Val d'Orcia just makes you speechless or saying wow and wow and wow after wow. In the beginning of May there were also quite little other tourists which I found great. Sometimes we had these amazingly beautiful roads just to ourselves.

By the way just before San Quirico there is a perfect place to stop and take iconic Tuscan photos as the web site suggested (green hills and cypress trees - amazing scenery). And before Pienza you'll find the Cappella Vitaleta - tiny chapel - worth to stop and take photos or even drive to it.

Pienza itself was beautiful and unique Renaissance city - we had there also a lunch and we visited Palazzo Piccolomini. From Palazzos terrace you'll have amazing view to Val d'Orcia country side - and this Palazzo is also a set for the Romeo and Juliette movie. From Pienza we took a side detour to Montichiello because we wanted to spend more time in country side and on cypress lined roads. And from there we drove to Montepulciano and stayed the night.
Written May 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Evgenyr1981
Israel688 contributions
Jun 2017 • Family
Before I start, please, do not associate Val d'Orcia and the whole Tuscany with Podere Belvedere pictures. This is wrong, the valley is incredible stunning and that famous villa doesn't do justice, it is below mediocre, there are million spots and opportunities with much better view, stop hunting that "{Belvedere early morning fog" sickness and be original. There is much more than trivial sp146 if you know what I mean.
Go forth and explore while driving, but get a SUV, the local roads a below terrible.
Every single town has its own atmosphere. Best time to take photos after 6-7 pm, it gets dark pretty late, around 9 pm in summer, so you have plenty of time.
The valley deserves at least a week of stay and the best bet will be some agroturismo, as these are located outside of towns and allow you to actually "breath" the sunset/sunrise views from terrace while enjoying complete silence with some local made wine and cheese.
Written June 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KLE2013
Centreville, VA3,680 contributions
Aug 2014 • Family
Our family spent a glorious week at the agritourismo resort, Il Poggio, in S. Casciano dei Bagni and with the flexibility that a rental car provided, we were able to explore the marvelous countryside of the Val d'Orcia. Undulating hills with Renaissance towns mounted on rocky heights, panoramic vistas punctuated with idyllic farmhouses, sinuous country roads lined by towering Italian cypress-everyday was a new discovery. The road from Montepulciano to Pienza and from Pienza to San Quirico d'Orcia along SS146 is particularly noteworthy. Make sure to Explore and enjoy the towns and countryside in this very special area!
Written September 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Loreen K
Prague, Czech Republic251 contributions
Aug 2017 • Couples
Some might mention to avoid Belvedere, Vitaletta, sp146. This is a mistake, its ridiculous I think to avoid sights just because they are popular and or famous. Tbere is a reason an attraction is so popular, because its worth seeing. So I do believe in seeing what some may call cliches or over rated because they are so widely photographed, just try to find different times to enjoy them without the crowds. This area cannot be seen in a day or just hours but if time is really limited then choose a couple of destinations rather then trying to see everything, but take time to really enjoy. Far better to see less but make great memories of what you do visit, if time permits, enjoy the drives and stop to see the beautiful hilltop villages along the routes. Montepulciano, Pienza, San Quirico, drive the sp146 for its fantastic beauty, then head off to the smaller roads, do a loop back to Montepulciano from Pienza via sp18 and sp88, enjoy the zig zag road of cipressi, stop in at Montichiello. Swing over to Montefollonico via sp15, then sp renielli to either sp71 or sp14 to Montisi, follow sp14 to San Giovanni d'asso to Torrenieri, then a totally quiet, perfect for cycling or running twisting turning road sp137 to San Quirico. You could in drive this in a loop but is really worthwhile to stop in these villages along the routes so try break these into a number of drives over a period of days. The Val d'Orcia borders the Crete Senesi, the scenery in a space of few kilometers changes from lush wooded hills to almost moonscape. The light is so intense mid day, its hard to capture the beauty, but not everything can be seen in the soft early morning light or at dramatic sunsets, so do not fret about it, just enjoy it.
Written August 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Marcella202014
New York City, NY48 contributions
May 2017 • Friends
If you want to see the real Tuscany, take a drive along SP146 to Pienza. The gentle rolling hills in the countryside are one of the most picturesque landscapes. If you have ever dreamed of seeing this part of Italy, driving along this route is the way to go. Visit Pienza because from this town, there are breathtaking views of the Tuscan landscape below. You won't regret this drive. I loved it.
Written May 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

nazir
Montefollonico, Italy202 contributions
Oct 2012 • Friends
Remember you are in UN World Heritage Sites Zone of which beautiful Pienza is the principle Town, constructed by Pope Piccolomino who began urbanization. Films like the English Patient were shot here. The area is also famous for its Pecorino Cheese, Olive Oil, Wine, Terracotta, Pottery and many more items. Bagno Vignoni the roman spa definitely deserves a visit as much as Montalcino where the World Famoos Brunello comes from. Montepulciano produces the Vino Nobile. Montefollonico a village situate on a ridge where both Val d'Orca and Val di Chiana can be viewed. The best time to visit is in th Autumn when the harvest of Olives and Grapes etc takes place. How long will the elderly italian generation continue this tedious work by hand. Go see!
Written July 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

c_meggy
London460 contributions
I've been to Tuscany various times and the last three times I rented large villas with friends in the Val d'Orcia area. Absolutely amazing.
There are a lot of beautiful places to visit such as Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, Montepulciano or just drive through the countryside.
It's a must see for everyone going to Tuscany.
Written March 19, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anuj_Mithani
Mumbai, India3,571 contributions
Oct 2016 • Couples
I don’t think words can do justice, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. This is the most ethereal landscape in Italy, and perhaps anywhere in the world. A car is necessary, and don’t just drive the main roads like the unforgettable SP146 connecting the iconic hill-towns of Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano etc. but the various unmarked dirt roads (the one from Il Rigo to Cretaiole, for example) where every turn presents a little slice of heaven. It helps to spend a few nights somewhere in the valley (we chose Montalcino) to really get under its skin. We will return.

PS – This needs planning to optimise your time spent and cover maximum ground. The Fodors forum has an exhaustive itinerary for the region courtesy Stu Dudley, an invaluable contributor, as does Karen Brown’s website.
Written November 1, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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