The Val d'Orcia are of Tuscany has rolling hills, vistas of fields with grain or sunflowers. Here you can see colours that include vibrant greens and rich golds. The valley is named after the Orcia river. The vineyards produce Brunello and the Val d’Orcia DOC wines. The area, that is found between Siena and Grosseto holds a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
We have been in this area of Tuscany on a number of trips, however, in 2017 we decided to stay in the Val d'Orcia. We rented an agriturismo just outside of Radicofani, located about 60 km southeast of Siena.
Radicofani is a town with a long rich history. We enjoyed being in the old medieval town. No crowds of tourists here. This was a very authentic place. It is famous for its castle (Rocca) which is referenced as early as 978 as the Castle of Ghino di Tacco. It was restored after the conquest from the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1560-67.
The image shows the stone buildings of the streets of Radicofani, and the tower of the castle that sits on the top of the hill.
It took a while to adjust to the village approach to shopping. A meat show on one street, a bakery on another, a cheese shop on another. We did find a more general store on one of the roads outside the historic centre, but the specialized is life in a small town.
we stayed at the Podere Pietreta. It was very comfortable. Everything we newed here, a pool, our apartment with a kitchen and chairs and tables to sit outside. It was our base and each day we would head out to visit different areas of the Val d'Orcia.
One of the first stops in the area, San Quirico is a very pleasant town. Beautiful stone buildings and a couple of churches of notes. San Quirico is located in the middle of the area. The Collegiate church of San Quirico has a structure that was rebuilt in the 12th century.
San Quirico is located half-way between Pienza and Montalcino. It has held an important location as in ancient times it was an stop on the Via Francigena, one of the important pilgrimage routes that connected northern Europe to Rome.
Via Dante is the main street to walk and it runs down the middle of the town. No cars in the town, which is walled, but there are parking areas along the outside of the town. There are four gates to use to enter the town.
Located about 20 kilometeres east of Montalcino and a few kilometeres west of Montepulciano this is a town we have already enjoyed visiting. One of the draws is the Latte di Luna restaurant.
The town became something as Enea Silvio Piccolomini who later became Pope Pius II has the town designed to be the way a Utopian city should be. Architect Bernardo Rossellino is responsible for the design of the main buildings: the cathedral, the Papol or Piccolomini Palace, the Town Hall and the main piazza on which all these buildings are located.
If you visit in early September, there is the Fiera del Cacio, a festival dedicated to pecorino cheese and other traditional food of the area.
For many years we have been returing to Pienza so that we can have lunch at Latte di Luna. We discovered this restaurant over ten years ago, and found out that it was "the" restaurant for the actors, actresses and crew for the filming of of the movie, The English Patient. Well no wonder. The bruschetta with tomato is incredible. The roast pork is succulent. We have always had a table in the small patio outside the restaurant. No better way to enjoy a day. The restaurant located at Via San Carlo, 2/4 is closed on Tuesday.