The Orcia valley

hiking of the abbey 

THE ORCIA VALLEY AND THE ABBEYS HIKING

 

Come to know the Orcia Valley, UNESCO site and the Crete Senesi. We will visit small villages rich in works of art, set within the typical Tuscan landscape, the "countryside garden", celebrated as early as the Renaissance by Tuscan painters. Great attention will be given to food and wine: this area of Tuscany is famous all over the world for its wines and excellent typical products, such as Pecorino di Pienza.

 

From Montalcino to Sant'Antimo

After breakfast transfer to Montalcino, the town of Brunello, a charming medieval town surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Orcia Valley. Visit of the Medici Fortress, the Church of Sant'Agostino, Piazza del Popolo, dominated by the Palazzo dei Priori. Beginning of the hiking, which through woods and vineyards will take us to the Abbey of Sant'Antimo, one of the most important architectural complexes of Tuscan Romanesque architecture.

To enrich the suggestion of the place, the liturgies, still today accompanied by Gregorian chants. The day ends with a visit to the farm and a tasting of Brunello di Montalcino.  (4 hrs., 12 km)

 

From Montepulciano to Pienza

Transfer to Montepulciano, from whose historical centre you can admire an endless panorama of the Orcia Valley and the Chiana Valley. We will walk along the main street, flanked by elegant Renaissance palaces, until we reach the splendid Piazza Grande, dominated by the Cathedral and the Palazzo Pubblico. We will then descend to the Temple of San Biagio, a masterpiece by Antonio da Sangallo. Start hiking towards Monticchiello, a small medieval town still surrounded by turreted walls. In the afternoon we continue to Pienza, the "ideal city" of the Renaissance, created by Pope Pius II. The fulcrum of the town is the central square, characterized by a complex of harmonious buildings such as the Cathedral and the Palazzo Piccolomini. 

Tasting of Pecorino di Pienza.  (5 h walk, 16 km)
 

From Buonconvento to Monte Oliveto Maggiore 

Transfer to Buonconvento, enchanting village still enclosed inside

of a 14th-century city wall. A pleasant walk will make us admire the characteristic alleys, the Church of Saints Peter and Paul and the Palazzo Pubblico. Start of the hiking in the wild landscape of the Crete Senesi. We'll stop at Chiusure, a small and charming town that offers splendid panoramic views. Eventual tasting of local black truffle. In the afternoon we will reach the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, a masterpiece of Renaissance art, with the Chiostro Grande which houses wonderful frescoes by Luca Signorelli and Antonio Bazzi.  (4 h walk, 13 km)

 

From Chiusdino to the Abbey of San Galgano

Transfer to Chiusdino, enchanting medieval village that gave birth to the noble knight Galgano Guidotti, who, after a dissolute youth, will retire to a hermit life; after his death, the pope will declare him a saint. 

We will visit the museum, the house where St. Galgano was born and then we will begin our hiking to the abbey. Upon arrival we will visit the cloister, the scriptorium, and the fascinating open-air church, one of the first sacred places in Italy built in Gothic style. A short climb will lead us to the hermitage of Montesiepi, where the sword stuck in the rock still stands.  (2 h walk, 7 km)

 

From Monteriggioni to San Leonardo al Lago

We will start with a visit to the castle of Monteriggioni, still surrounded by the ancient Sienese walls. From here we will follow the white roads of the Montagnola Senese towards Cerbaia, an ancient medieval village. 

Through paths surrounded by thick woods, we will reach the castles of Chiocciola and Villa, before descending to the reclaimed riverbed of Pian del Lago, where we will visit the Hermitage of San Leonardo al Lago, dating back to 1100.  (4 h walk, 12 km)

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