Top 5 Experiences Not to Be Missed in the Val d’Orcia

07 august 2017

Losing Yourself among the Hills
The Val d’Orcia is an ideal place to visit by car or on motorbike, driving slowly, following its roads alongside cypress trees. But it is even more interesting to explore on foot. Leaving the car behind, slip on a pair of comfortable shoes and follow one of the many trails to lose yourself among the hills. You will understand why this place has become famous worldwide.
The soft and unmistakable countryside, in some places lunar-looking, which continually change colour as the seasons change. The vineyards and woods interspersed with little churches and country houses here and there, like punctuation marks. Old hamlets where time seems to stand still like tableau vivant from the Middle Ages or Renaissance period. Enjoy every single frame of this unique scenery, which has provided the backdrop for many famous films.


Discover the Gardens of La Foce
After being surrounded by nature, we suggest you discover what the genius of man has been able to create in this land, which has always been dry and plain. The Gardens of La Foce were designed by famous English architect Cecil Pinsent at the request of Iris and Antonio Origo between the 1920s and 30s: a formal Italian garden with carefully pruned geometric box and laurel hedges beside the lemon grove, rose garden, and little wood, as well as the individual cypress trees that were cut back to broaden the horizon.
Don’t miss out on the guided tours, which on special occasions are led by Benedetta Origo, Iris’ daughter, who truly knows how to convey the spirit of Val d’Orcia and its history (


Take a Dip in Bagno Vignoni
After all that walking, you need a break: pilgrims knew best in the middle ages when they trekked along the Francigena, the famous pilgrim route that passes right through the Val d’Orcia. Whoever could took a break at Bagno Vignoni in order to soak in its famous hot springs that boil up from the ground, even in Roman times.
A pleasure that can be repeated even today in the pools of the Hotel Posta Marcucci, with its view of Rocca d’Orcia and the wild countryside that has remained untouched for centuries (

Taste Handrolled Pici Pasta
At the end of such a busy day, you can’t miss out on a good dinner: pici pasta, thick handrolled spaghetti, is the specialty in Val d’Orcia. A simple dish – made with just water, flour, and a drop of olive oil – that can be served in many variations: with the traditional meat sauce or a sauce without tomatoes and with Cinta Senese pork meat, with breadcrumbs (very traditional topping made with stale bread and anchovies) or even with seasonal vegetables. The best pici is served at Trattoria Osenna in San Quirico d’Orcia ( and at Trattoria il Pozzo in Sant’Angelo in Colle ( Don’t forget to pair with a glass of Brunello di Montalcino, one of the most famous Italian wines in the world.

Enjoy the Square Life
Choose a square. It can be in San Quirico d’Orcia, Pienza, Montalcino, or in any little town in the Val d’Orcia. The basic rule of thumb, which is valid all over Italy, is that in every square, the pulse of every town, there is always a café. Now sit down, order a coffee, and simply look around you. Enjoy the life that flows by: the children who run around and ride their bikes, the mothers who keep an eye on them, the elderly who sit on benches and chat, the teens who laugh and secretly glance at each other lost in their first love.
A little microcosm, alive and familiar, that represents the essence of every little Tuscan town. This is what the Val d’Orcia is all about, this is the lifestyle that is admired all over the world.