The Iconic Landscape of Val d’Orcia, Tuscany

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Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, the hills, valleys, and trees of the Val d’Orcia “exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes.”

In short, the Val d’Orcia is one of the most Tuscan of landscapes, recognizable from art to film. An image of this valley may be your screensaver, a constant reminder to book or re-book a trip to Tuscany.

Have you ever driven these winding roads near Siena? Did you stop, as I did, to take “the perfect photo,” only to realize that the photo could never capture the vastness of the area, surreal with its ordered cypresses and alternating green, brown, and yellow hills? Have you ever wondered how the Tuscans managed to keep this land untouched by development for hundreds of years?

The Val d’Orcia is sacred ground, a tranquil setting for those who wish to escape the noise and the news cycles. I highly recommend an extended stay here, if not a leisurely drive from Montepulciano or Montalcino to San Quirico d’Orcia or Pienza with many stops in between.

For more information about the Val d’Orcia, see:

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Melanie Renzulli
Melanie Renzulli

Melanie Renzulli has been writing about Italy for more than 25 years.