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What to see in Val D'Orcia for a spring weekend

Tuscany is magic throughout the year but it is especially lovely in Spring: the famous cultural gems, museums, galleries and cities are less busy and calmer; the beautiful countryside comes alive with the lovely blooms that line the region's so-called flower roads; and the weather is perfect for hiking and exploring both natural and artistic gems. Are you ready to spend an unforgettable weekend among cypresses and rolling hills, enjoying excellent food in one of the most iconic landscapes in Italy? You will discover it along country roads that will take you on a unique journey of its kind, in the wonderful Val d'Orcia.
If you are wondering where to go in spring, you are in the right place. In this article we will tell you about an ideal itinerary for a short spring holiday, a harmonious itinerary that winds through vineyards, olive groves, green hills, ancient farms and warm thermal waters.
visit Montepulciano in Tuscany with private tours and wine tasting
It is a landscape, that of the Val D'Orcia, which at a glance will seem familiar to you, even though you have never been there. Thanks to the great Renaissance artists of the Sienese School, who made it the backdrop for timeless works of art and to various photographers, who made this land famous all over the world. A special cohesion between man and nature which, not surprisingly, has earned this territory its inclusion in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Moving around this area of Tuscany is like walking through a postcard, wherever you turn your eyes will light up with beauty. Each time there is a different corner to discover, a new dish to taste and new meetings to toast.
We start from San Quirico d'Orcia, an intermediate step between Ponte D'Arbia and Radicofani. Here, in addition to local products (don't miss the extra virgin olive oil), there are some of the most iconic sceneries of Tuscany. Once you have visited the village with its Collegiata dei Santi Quirico e Giuditta and the Horti Leonini, a stop is due to the Cypresses of S. Quirico, probably the most famous cypresses in the world, which from the top of their hill dominate a stretch of the ancient via Cassia, a connection between earth and sky, which has become the landscape symbol of the Tuscany region. You will have to reserve another of your shots at the Chapel of the Madonna di Vitaleta: this small late-Renaissance church surrounded by rows of cypresses is another icon of the area which can be reached by walking a short distance along the road that leads from S. Quirico to Pienza. Also here, you will also find Podere Belvedere, beautiful to photograph with the lights of dawn, when you can enjoy the surrounding landscape in complete tranquility as the sun rises and illuminates the valley.
Let's move on to Pienza, the ideal city of the Renaissance designed at the behest of Papa Pio II. Its alleys are a hymn to love where you can get lost among symbolic buildings and elegant artisan shops and, from the terraces that leave the magnificent Duomo behind you, your gaze is lost in the Val D'Orcia Park up to Monte Amiata. Nearby, don't miss a visit to the Pieve di Corsignano where, inside, sober and fascinating, you can find the baptismal font where Popes Pius II and Pius III were baptised. Before entering, however, look at the bas-reliefs outside, at the entrance you will find the two-tailed siren and then, on the right side, the nativity. Finally, from here, continue on foot towards the "Campi Elisi". You will feel like you are in a movie and it will probably be because the final scene of Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" was shot in these hills. However, a land can also be discovered through flavours: it is precisely in this area of the Val D'Orcia that pecorino di Pienza, the famous cheese, is produced, which should be elected a World Heritage Site.
wine tasting in Montepulciano and Pienza with private tour in Tuscany
When thinking about your travel itinerary in Val D'Orcia, remember to add a detour to Montepulciano among the things to see. Stroll in the village enclosed in ancient walls, discover the local handicrafts, admire the spectacle of the Val D'Orcia and the Val Di Chiana from above and, if the weather permits, gaze at Lake Trasimeno. The heart of the city is Piazza Grande, overlooked by the Cathedral of Montepulciano or the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the sixteenth-century well of griffins and lions and the town hall with the Clock Tower. Going down instead you will meet, among others, the church of Sant'Agostino with a nice Pulcinella at the top of the tower in front of the church ready to mark the passing of the hours and finally, on the slopes of the hill of Montepulciano, the wonderful Temple of San Biagio .
Land of good wine, if you pass through Montalcino you must necessarily taste its wine, known and appreciated all over the world, Brunello, but also its art, culture and traditions. Here the Eroica was conceived, the cycling race born to bring back to life the values of cycling of the past, the authentic one, and to preserve the Tuscan territory, made up of dusty white roads and a landscape of immense beauty. Needless to say, visit the old town, the Rocca, the Palazzo dei Priori, Piazza del Popolo and then only when you get tired of it, if it's possible to get tired of a place like this I don't know, find peace by heading to the Abbey of Sant 'Antimo. Seen from the outside, it is a precious jewel set among the green Tuscan hills where for years a centuries-old cypress has been competing in height with the adjacent bell tower.
Finally we arrive at Bagno Vignoni, whose square, a thermal water pool, is an all-natural spectacle. Piazza delle Sorgenti is a sixteenth-century pool surrounded by stone buildings, where once Popes and grand dukes loved to bathe. Today, you can take advantage of the beneficial properties of this boiling water in the natural pool of Parco dei Mulini, or, if you are looking for a more scenic place, full of limestone formations with the most curious shapes, at Bagni San Filippo you cannot go wrong. Natural spas, immersed in the greenery of a luxuriant forest, where between one waterfall and another, you can find wonderful pools of sulphurous waters where you can immerse yourself to find peace of mind. The White Whale is the largest and most famous limestone formation, follow the path accompanied by the rustling of the water and you will find it without a doubt. A piece of advice: peep out here early in the morning when everything around the village is still asleep, the experience you will gain will repay any effort.

Ready to go?

If this article on what to see in Val D'Orcia in spring has been an inspiration to you and you are wondering when to leave, know that every season here has something special. 

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