Discover the natural wonders of the Val d’Orcia, patrimony of UNESCO since 2004, situated in the southern most part of the province of Siena in the region of Tuscany. With an experienced guide explore the unforgettable countryside around Montalcino, Pienza, San Quirico d’Orcia, Castiglione d’Orcia and Radicofani, the five areas which make up the Nature and Cultural Park of the Valley of the River Orcia. Take the medieval highway the Via Francigena and follow in the footsteps of princes and paupers en route to the Eternal City. Delight in the sight of pheasant and falcons, hare and deer. Relax in the hot spring waters of Bagno Vignoni, enjoyed since Roman times by Emperors and Popes, Saint Catherine of Siena and Lorenzo the Magnificent for its therapeutic properties. Visit a small family run winery and a winery of Montalcino and sample some of Italy’s most valued wines. And of course tantalise your taste buds with one of the world’s best known cuisines. Pecorino cheese, extra virgin olive oil dribbled over freshly toasted bread, home-made pasta served with truffles or a hare sauce, hearty soups, wild boar stew, porcini mushrooms, asparagus and artichokes and mouth-watering deserts all accompanied by the fine wines that this area has to offer.
Clients will be collected from Chiusi station and driven to La Selvella where your guide will tell you about the week before you sample the first of your delicious meals at La Selvella.
This morning we will walk from La Selvella to the charming medieval village of Radicofani with its imposing fortress, set in a unique panoramic position with views over the surrounding area as far as Siena, Lake Trasimeno and Lake Bolsena. Here the legendary Ghino di Tacco imprisoned the Abbot of Cluny, as related by Boccaccio in the Decameron. We can saunter through the narrow streets and visit the Romanesque church of San Pietro which houses works by the Della Robbia workshop, and La Posta built by the Grand-duke Ferdinando I of the Medici family as a hunting lodge, and which later became an inn giving lodging to such illustrious characters as Dickens and the Marquis de Sade. Lunch will be in a local restaurant. In the afternoon there will then be time to relax at La Selvella before donning your aprons for a cookery lesson with Marina where you will help her prepare a memorable Tuscan meal.
Walk from Montalcino to Sant’Antimo
This morning we take a scenic drive through the Val d’Orcia to Montalcino, the heart of the Brunello wine country, where we begin our walk through olive groves and vineyards to the romantic abbey of Sant’Antimo which is said to have been founded by Charlemagne in 781. From here we have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we will visit a winery and taste the world famous Brunello wine. We will then be driven back to La Selvella.
Circular walk from Bagno Vignoni.
We will drive to the medieval hamlet of Bagno Vignoni, a thermal spa with a Renaissance pool in the main square where hot water bubbles up from underground springs.
Here Santa Caterina of Siena and Lorenzo the Magnificent of the Medici family came to enjoy the benefits of these waters. This walk will take you along the banks of the River Orcia and then you will climb up and walk olive groves accompanied by magnificent views of the Orcia valley. There will be a light lunch at a small family run winery before arriving back at Bagno Vignoni where you can soak your weary body in the hot spa pool before returning to la Selvella for dinner.
Pienza – San Quirico d’Orcia
We will be transferred to Pienza, birthplace in 1405 of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini later to become Pope Pius II. Pope Pius commissioned Bernardo Rossellino to build the Duomo and the surrounding square and palaces, and in 1996 Pienza was recognised by UNESCO for its fine Renaissance architecture, and inscribed onto their world heritage list. We will have time to wander the narrow alleys which inspired Zeffirelli to film Romeo and Juliet here, before setting off on your walk, stopping off below the walls of the town to visit the Pieve of Corsignano an enchanting Romanesque parish church, where Aeneas Silvius was baptised.
The walk will take us through the rolling wheat fields below Pienza to the medieval farmhouse Il Rigo for our lunch.
We will then walk on to the pleasant medieval village of San Quirico d’Orcia where you will have time to explore before driving back to La Selvella.
Day of departure.
After breakfast you will be driven to Chiusi station.
The price includes:
Booking conditions vary depending on the tour and will be given at the time of booking.
Cancellation fees can vary depending on the accommodation on offer and these conditions will be given at the time of booking.