Central Tuscany: Le Crete and the Val d’Orcia

The “Inside Tuscany: A Second Time Around” Series


Where do you find some of the best hill towns and scenery in Tuscany?

The latest version of this guidebook on the Le Crete and Val d'Orcia regions in central Tuscany is the fifth book in my series of books on south central Tuscany.

Here I take you to the area of Tuscany that provides many of the pictures in calendars, coffee table books, movies, and postcards — the cedar lined drives and roads going over hills with small towns and solitary farms. Val d’Orcia towns stand high on hills with their Roccas visible for miles. Different areas produce a variety of world class wines and foods, especially the pecorino cheese from the Pienza region.

This is one of the most comprehensive books on the area in English. The book will help you . . . . 

  1. Bulletlearn about the art, history, and sites in several Val d'Orcia towns,

  2. Bulletget an idea of mobility accessibility of tourist sites and towns,

  3. Bulletuse decimal GPS coordinates for navigating,

  4. Bulletcook from authentic Italian recipes, many from my Italian family.

This book takes you to some of the most important areas in Le Crete and the Val d’Orcia.

  1. BulletDrive through the eerie and astounding rolling clay hills of Le Crete viewing rolling fields of grain, pasture land, small ponds, and sheep.

  2. BulletAfter passing through the Le Crete, stop at the Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore and enjoy the peace and quiet of this monastery hidden deep in the forest.

  3. BulletWalk through the hill town of Montalcino, climb the ramparts of its fortezza for an open view of the Val d’Orcia all the way to Monte Amiata, taste the world famous Brunello di Montalcino, and study art in the churches and the excellent Museo Civico e Diocesano.

  4. BulletListen to the monks say their prayers in the Gregorian chant at the Abbazia di Sant'Antimo a few kilometers from Montalcino.

  5. BulletStop at the "ideal humanist city" of Pienza with its unique Piazza Pio II and brilliant architecture. Have a lunch taking an option for each course that uses Pienza's great pecorino cheese.

  6. BulletExplore deceptively quiet San Quirico d'Orcia famous for its gardens: the Horti Leoni and the Rose Garden.

  7. BulletTake a break from the effort of touring in the spa town of Bagno Vignoni, first used by the ancient Romans. St. Catherine of Siena was brought here by her mother who hoped that the waters would cure her of her desire to become a nun — they didn't.

  8. BulletBe surprised by the beauty and treasures in the tiny hill town of Monticchiello.

  9. BulletWant to avoid the cost of using the spas in Bagno Vignoni and dive into natural hot tubs? Drive to the Fosso Bianco at Bagni San Filippo and take a short hike through the forest to visit its wild pools.

  10. BulletExplore the fortezza and rocca of Radicofani, the highest in the Val d'Orcia near Monte Amiata.

  11. BulletFind exciting and busy Montepulciano, the largest town in the area and learn its history from the Middle Ages to today. Appreciate the stunning views from its walls. Survey the museums and churches. Taste the excellent Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and have a great lunch at the Ristorante Enoteca la Corte Medicea.


Bonus Materials:

  1. BulletCook from authentic Italian recipes, many from my Italian family.

  2. BulletUse GPS coordinates to sites to find your way around.

  3. BulletLearn how to interpret religious art.

  4. BulletGet an idea of the accessibility of the site.  

© 2015 Scott Grabinger

®Inside Tuscany, ®Second Time Around, and ®Inside Tuscany Tours are registered trademarks.

To purchase, go to: amazon.com


Inside Tuscany Tours Itineraries

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