Italy-Tuscany and its Val D’Orcia

Val D'Orcia, Italy, Tuscany
Val D’Orcia, Italy, Tus­cany

– Val D’Orcia is a Nature pro­tected  600 km ² area in Italy,  close to Siena in the heart of Tus­cany, famous for its splen­did scenic pic­tures, its wine, olive oil, cheese and their qual­ity.

I made acquain­tance with Val D’Orcia dri­ving on its coun­try roads, with no time pres­sure. I stopped many times to pho­tograph its val­leys and hills, or just admire in total silence its. At times, I had tears in my eyes, because of so much beauty. I can be a whinny, when deeply impressed.

Advice: do not get your sat­is­fac­tion by watch­ing my pic­tures or read­ing about these places. My one and only advice is GO and see them your­self. I just want to make you have the nec­es­sary appetite to travel.

If you love pho­tograph­ing or just like to lose your breath every once in a while, see this place. In 2 or 3 days you can just drive on its coun­try roads (honor Tus­cany by dri­ving it through the vil­lages), stop for wine tast­ing as there are count­less wine farms. Most of them have a plate say­ing they have wine tasting…just knock on their doors or ring the bell. They will be happy to show you their wines.  And if you choose to stop at a bar for wine tast­ing, just ask for the local wine. I have been taken to wine tast­ing by my host and it was the first time in my life that I have drunk a glass of wine in almost one hour. It was so full, so tasty, so cor­pu­lent (as the som­me­liers say) that I took only tiny sips for fear the ecstasy would end sooner than I wanted.

wine tasting

After let­ting the red wine tame your blood,  head towards Abbazia di Sant Antimo (click on the name to see google maps loca­tion). It was built-in 781..oh yes, that long ago, and the con­struc­tion that we can see today is a small part of what it once was. It is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant archi­tec­tural mon­u­ments of Romanesque (details here). Enjoy the peace inside the mon­u­ment and also  take a look at the hun­dred years old olive trees in its gar­den.



Out­side the church you can lie a table-cloth and enjoy a pic­nic: do not for­get the wine, the pecorino cheese, the wild gar­lic, fresh bread and your smile.


It is already hard to get up, and it is hard to leave all that tran­quil­ity, but Val D’Orcia has more won­ders she wants you to enjoy. So let’s get up. I will take you to Bagni di San Fil­ippo. Have your swim suit ready, or not. It is a won­der­ful nat­u­ral ther­mal river, that few tourists know about and actu­ally find­ing it is not that easy. Once you bathe in the warm pools, it’s going to be even harder to leave. Take look:

For me the high point of the jour­ney to Val D’Orcia was the Bagni di San Fil­ippo and that it because I did not expect to see that. “That“ is moun­tains cov­ered in white chalk and the streams falling and cre­at­ing nat­u­ral pools of hot water at 40°-60° C. Bathing in a pool at our choice, was so relax­ing and when my host told me that the only thing miss­ing is a float­ing bar with can­dles and glasses of wine ..I could only agree.  So, step into one pool, or put your back under a water­fall, get comfy, close your eyes and  enjoy the colours of the sky. Hear the wind touch­ing the leaves in the forest and the water flow­ing …you have a free flight ticket to wherever you want to go. It takes a sec­ond to arrive…no gates, no take off and no land­ing.

The Nat­u­ral Park of Val D’Orcia is exactly how they depict it in the movies, books, cal­en­dars, plus the „being here“ effect makes the whole expe­ri­ence twice stronger. In fact, I warmly rec­om­mend you to take the step and come in per­son in this pic­turesque lands. Every cor­ner is sur­pris­ing. In may the col­ors are gold from the recently picked wheat fields, green from the hills of wheat that is not yet mature, red from the pop­pies and field flow­ers that con­trast with the rest, dark green from the tall cypress trees.

My rec­om­men­da­tion: get lost, get lost as much as pos­si­ble. And do not worry, because every­where you will go there will be stun­ning land­scapes, small bro­ken streets maybe, but worth it going on.Being in Val D’Orcia it stroke me that this is how eter­nity must look and feel like! So much beauty in one place that God must have had some­thing grand in mind when he cre­ated it.


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