Санторинии quirico d orcia

Санторинии quirico d orcia

Luxury Villas In Val D’Orcia Near Cortona

Val d’Orcia is a scenic region that looks like ‘classic Tuscany’ with its cypress-studded ridges and Renaissance palaces.

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Villas in Val d'Orcia & near Cortona

Val d’Orcia and near Cortona holiday guide

The rolling, strangely haunting scenery of the Val d’Orcia is the backdrop to many a Renaissance painting. Its cypress-studded ridges form one of the iconic modern images of ‘classic Tuscany’. The towns are a delight for architecture buffs: the Renaissance palaces of Montepulciano and Pienza; the Romanesque Collegiata in San Quirico d’Orcia, hewn entirely from honey-coloured travertine. Cortona clings to the side of a mountain overlooking the Valdichiana, looking out to Lake Trasimeno and neighbouring Umbria.

Rural features

Standing in the gardens of Pienza’s Palazzo Piccolomini, looking south over the expanses below, it is hard to believe the tiny River Orcia created all this. Dormant volcano Monte Amiata on the horizon is southern Tuscany’s tallest peak. The vast trough of the Valdichiana is southern Tuscany’s breadbasket, and the source of the produce that fills every town’s markets. The best spot to get a sense of the valley’s size is from the Etruscan tomb complex at Pianacce, outside Sarteano.

Things to do in Val d’Orcia

Montepulciano’s long, steep corso (main street) is lined with palaces by Renaissance architects such as Sangallo and Vignola. At the town’s highest point, Piazza Grande, climb the Palazzo Comunale for views over the rooftops to the winelands beyond. The Renaissance perfection of Pienza’s Piazza Pio II was dreamed up by the home-town pope, Pius II, and his architect Bernardo Rossellino. Navigate Cortona’s steep lanes and stone staircases to explore two of Tuscany’s best small museums, including the Diocesan Museum with paintings by Luca Signorelli and Fra’ Angelico.

Piazza Grande, Montepulciano

Eating and drinking

An authentic bistecca alla fiorentina (Florentine T-bone steak) comes only from the white cattle of the Valdichiana. Sheep reared in the fields around Pienza produce Tuscany’s most prized pecorino (hard ewe’s milk cheese, often also called cacio). The local pasta—generally served with a simple meat or game ragù—is pici, hand-rolled, thick, short spaghetti. The region’s premier wine is Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which you can taste in cantinas around the town, or arrange a vineyard visit through the local Consorzio.

Pici pasta with lamb ragu and parmesan cheese


The colours of the Val d’Orcia switch with the season; the piercing emerald green fields of spring give way to burnt-ochre all summer, when bales of hay bake in the fields. Towards Cortona, in the Valdichiana, the malleable rock that underpins the region has been put to use: as cool rock wine cellars under Montepulciano; defensive tunnels and water cisterns under Chiusi; and Etruscan tombs everywhere, most spectacularly at the frescoed Tomb of the Demon Charioteer near Sarteano.

From approximately October to December it is the traditional hunting season in the rural areas of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio and hunters are free to roam about the fields and woods belonging to private properties as long as they keep 150 meters away from houses.

Санторинии quirico d orcia

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Enchanted in Tuscany

One of the great advantages of working in the travel industry is discovering a hotel just prior to it becoming a sensation. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to many that have become destinations unto themselves. The Amanzoe in the Peloponnese, the Four Seasons Bosphorus in Istanbul and the Andronis Suites in Santorini are but three in a long list of properties that have become accommodation icons in their respective destinations. Each of these hotels possesses similar innate yet vital qualities such as an attention to detail bordering on the obsessive, professional yet discreet service, supremely comfortable beds and wonderful bathrooms. What makes them different from each other is their inextricable connection with their physical and historical surroundings. Nothing though had prepared me for our encounter with near perfection while on our annual inspection tour of Tuscany this past November.

I must confess that I have fallen completely, convincingly and hopelessly in love with the Val d’Orcia region of Italy. This stunning area is home to the villages of Montalcino, Pienza & San Quirico d’Orcia and sits beside another of the iconic Tuscan towns, Montepulciano. Medieval hill-top villages perch above rolling fields that change color with the seasons. Additionally, the food is a revelation. Pienza’s pecorino cheese couples superbly with the elegance of Montalcino’s Brunello wine. A pleasant side-note is that these villages & towns are within less than an hour’s drive of each other, making daily excursions possible from your hotel, apartment or villa. The Val d’Orcia is also home to my favourite hotel. Not my favourite hotel in Italy, but my favourite hotel. Ever.

We scheduled ourselves to pick up our rental car from Fiumicino airport outside Rome and drive approximately 3 GPS-aided hours to a village near Buonconvento in southwestern Tuscany. Due to a couple of unforeseen circumstances, we ended up extended our drive by around 90 minutes. We missed our exit for the Autostrada while I was peeling the skin off a mandarin orange. Apparently, I was supposed to give my brother, the driver, verbal directions as he was incapable of simultaneously driving and following the GPS program on his iPhone. Not much of a problem if your idea of a relaxing country drive includes a Friday afternoon rush hour drive straight through the centre of Rome. Couple this with an unexpected GPS recalculation of a more ‘efficient’ route through the centre of Italy and a nighttime arrival at our hotel was guaranteed.

Arriving at the Castiglion del Bosco

“Arriving” at this hotel is a bit different. First, it’s situated on a hill-top in the middle of a private 4000-acre estate. It takes approximately 5 minutes to drive from the entrance to the check-in pavilion. Since we were driving in the dark, we had no idea what the topography was surrounding us. The check-in was effortless, filling out forms in the comfort of couches arranged in an elegantly relaxed living room configuration. I should have known I was in for a great time when I spotted the hand-made miniature Ferrari 250GT replica in the case above the mantle while filling out my passport information. The attention to detail here is mind-boggling.

There are no “rooms” here. In fact, this is not really a hotel but instead, a medieval borgo or village that has been obsessively, painstakingly converted into a hotel. Rooms, or suites, exist in at least 3 separate buildings located in the borgo. No suite is smaller than 750 square feet. The bathroom suites are adorned with nothing but the finest Italian marble and tile. The shower room (soaker tub is on the other side of the bathroom suite) offers a rain shower with phenomenal water pressure. The beds are otherworldly comfortable. There is enough storage space in the closets to unpack a family of 4 for at least 2 weeks. Walking through the suites fills you with an appreciation for how much work goes into making something so beautiful look so effortless & perfect. One becomes immediately inspired. It’s beyond beautiful. It’s ravishing.

Dinner, on this particular evening, was taken in the family style Osteria located in one of the largest buildings in the borgo. It was our dumb luck that we also happened to be in Italy smack-dab in the middle of the truffle season. When the chef came out to greet his guests, our conversation quickly turned to his English accent, which I mistakenly placed from Montreal. The Venice-born, Vancouver raised Canadian culinary artist is none other than Moreno Miotto, the former owner of one of the best new restaurants in Canada. We had 3 dishes that were simple and mouth-watering: white truffle risotto, pecorino & white truffle pizza and the famous Florentine steak, the latter weighing in at a portly 1300 grams. Yes, almost 3 pounds of Italian t-bone beef perfection. All this was accompanied with their own estate produced Brunello wine. There was nowhere on earth is would have rather been.

I could go on and on about how the morning views from our terrace spilled out into the Val d’Orcia or that the swimming pool and glass-walled fitness centre overlook the mountain-top village of Montalcino. I could also mention that the estate hired Tom Weiskopf to design an 18 hole links course on the estate or that you could hike the over 20 kilometres of private hiking trails. I could go on and on….but I would rather let you know that, if you are ever inclined to experience something as close to perfection on earth as possible, please do yourself or your clients the biggest favour and book a stay at the Castiglione Del Bosco. It would be my pleasure to provide you with directions……

Thomas Panos
Mediterranean Visits

Alternative Text

Travel has been my passion since 1997; I chose this work because the one thing I always wanted to do with my life was make people happy. As a result I deal with people who are equally as happy to deal with me.

Itinerario in Val d’Orcia alla scoperta dei suoi borghi

Itinerario in Val d’Orcia alla scoperta dei suoi borghi

La Val d’Orcia è una delle zone più conosciute della Toscana, apprezzata da tutto il mondo per le dolci colline, i bellissimi borghi, i suoi famosi cipressi e le terme naturali.
Una campagna che sa regalare davvero tante emozioni, ogni scorcio è perfetto per essere fotografato con la mente e con il cuore. Se vi chiedete qual’è il miglior periodo per visitarla sicuramente dobbiamo dire che l’estate regala dei contrasti unici tra i dorati campi di grano e il blu del cielo. In questo articolo vi suggerisco alcune tappe per un tour abbastanza completo e vario. Se invece siete in viaggio in tutta la Toscana leggete anche l’articolo sulla zona del Chianti oppure quello di Bolsena.

Le tappe dell’itinerario

  • Monticchiello
  • Pienza
  • San Quirico d’Orcia
  • I cipressi di San Quirico
  • Bagno Vignoni
  • Bagni di San Filippo
  • Abbadia San Salvatore

I borghi di Monticchiello e Pienza

Il borgo medioevale di Monticchiello si trova in una posizione eccezionale, arroccato su un colle permette di godere ad ogni angolo di una vista spettacolare sulla campagna circostante. Consiglio di perdersi tra le sue piccole vie e scoprire gli angoli più nascosti. Monticchiello conserva una bellezza autentica, fermatevi nella piazza della chiesa a bere qualcosa e godetevi un momento di relax.
Che dire di Pienza se non che è la “Città Ideale”? Un gioiello noto a tutti, una tappa impegnativa se la si vuole visitare in maniera approfondita. Inserita come Patrimonio dell’Unesco, Pienza offre davvero molto, a partire dal Duomo e Palazzo Borgia. Se ne avete l’occasione fermatevi per pranzo perchè il pecorino di Pienza merita di essere assaggiato magari con i tipici pici!

panorama monticchiello

Panorama da Monticchiello

San Quirico d’Orcia e la strada dei cipressi

Ecco il punto di partenza per arrivare a vedere i famosi cipressi della Val d’Orcia: San Quirico! Anche questo borgo si sviluppa su un colle ed è circondato da una cinta muraria, da cui potrete accedere attraverso 4 porte. La via centrale è piena di piccole botteghe e osterie tipiche dove poter degustare un calice di buon vino. Salendo un po’ vi addentrerete poi tra i vicoli acciottolati e le case di pietra.
La strada dei cipressi invece si trova a pochi chilometri di distanza da San Quirico d’Orcia, ecco il link diretto di Google Maps che vi porterà nel punto giusto https://goo.gl/maps/26Pk3TG5odhEMDFW6
L’immagine di questi cipressi è ormai un simbolo della Toscana e della bellezza del suo paesaggio che cambia i colori in ogni stagione.

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Scorcio a San Quirico d’Orcia

Le terme naturali di Bagno Vignoni e i Bagni di San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni oltre ad ospitare delle terme libere è anche una piccola meraviglia di questo territorio. Un borgo incantevole il cui fulcro è dato dalla grande vasca termale che si trova nel suo centro. Questo posto vi trasporterà in un attimo dentro ad un vecchio racconto, potrete immaginare un tempo che non c’è più ma che ancora traspira in ogni angolo. I Bagni di San Filippo invece sono puramente un insieme di formazioni calcare bagnate da calde acque termali in cui potrete immergervi a costo zero.

vasca termale bagno vignoni

Vasca termale a Bagno Vignoni

Abbadia San Salvatore

Ora ci spostiamo in montagna, eh si perchè Abbadia San Salvatore si trova sul Monte Amiata e vi assicuro che qui la temperatura cambia!
Lasciamo al campagna e saliamo di quota trovando con sorpresa un bellissimo borgo medioevale che ha conservato le tradizioni ed un fascino autentico.
Da non perdere la visita all’abbazia risalente al 1305, simbolo di questo paese. La troverete nel centro del paese e non nella città medioevale. Se pernottate ad Abbadia San Salvatore consiglio il B&B “Agli Archi”, ottima ospitalità, colazione super e camere curate.

borghi in toscana

Mitica Ape

Где в Тоскане тосканские пейзажи?

Природа Италии очень разнообразна и живописна. Да что говорить! Повсюду море, горы, пальмы даже на севере страны, мягкая зима. Да что это за зима? Вот как пример! Приезжал в гости в Москву итальянец зимой, и мы поехали в деревню. Он увидел много снега и говорит:

– Так снег же там, где горы и холодно!

В общем для него был «день на другой планете», – снег по колено, в который (о ужас и восторг)))), надо было нырять, баня с вениками, самовар и водка. Впечатлениям не было предела! Рашен стайл!

Ну да ладно, здесь мы о Тоскане поговорим. Давно туда хотелось. Уж слишком прекрасны и узнаваемы тамошние пейзажи.

Поля Тосканы необычайно живописны! Иногда даже не понятно, отчего, так как не все места затейливы, многие даже совсем лаконичны. Возможно, дело здесь в ландшафте, сочетании цветов, бесконечных стогах, кипарисах. Да, есть во всей этой местной природе что-то узнаваемое, присущее именно этому региону.

Поля Тосканы

А может все прозаичнее? Может просто фермеры специально засеивают такие красивые поля, раскладывают стога определенным образом? Мне даже представляется, что мэр Тосканы ездит по полям и контролирует степень красоты! Прям вот так подъезжает к фермеру и говорит: Джордано! Не находишь ли ты, что этот стог сена надо передвинуть на пару метров вправо? Будет живописнее! И не тяни, пожалуйста, перед туристами неудобно!

Живописные поля Тосканы

Место, где пришлось жить несколько дней, было в часе езды от Флоренции. Оно было прекрасным, как и сама столица Тосканы. Оливковые рощи и виноградники, старинные церкви, звон колоколов на высокой кампаниле. Вечером эти виды превращались в театр света.


Немножко жаль, что виноград был незрелым и солнечные лучи не светились в нем, преломляясь в шариках с соком. Но, согласитесь, на закате неплох даже зеленый виноград!

виноградники Тосканы

Деревенские дороги местного значения очень узкие, и чтобы разъехаться со встречным авто, иногда нужно очень постараться.

Деревенские дороги Тосканы

Но зато за каждым поворотом открываются великолепные пейзажи и просто невозможно проехать мимо, чтобы не снять их!

пейзажи Тосканы

Иногда даже хотелось найти дорожку, чтобы подъехать поближе, а порою просто выручал телевик!

пейзажи Тосканы

Очень оживляют пейзажи ровные ряды виноградников и беспорядочно разбросанные круглые стога. Говорят, их нет осенью, зато цвета совсем другие!

виноградники Тосканы

Но все же это были не те самые знаменитые тосканские пейзажи, чудесные своей лаконичностью и очень узнаваемые по набору: домики, разноцветные поля на холмах, кипарисы, стога. Где же все это?

Оказалось, что найти их можно в долине Валь д’Орча. Именно эти великолепные тосканские ландшафты внесены в Список Всемирного наследия Юнеско.

долина Валь д

Особенно чудесны они на закате и восходе, когда солнечные лучи будто, растворяются в воздухе, и пейзаж становится призрачно – золотым.

долина Валь д

Все эти места сосредоточены достаточно компактно и если Вы приехали в Сиену, то легко сможете объехать их за один-два дня, если не станете долго снимать и наблюдать восходы и закаты. Предлагаю Вам систематизировать маршрут, чтобы получить полное впечатление и не ездить уж очень много и беспорядочно.

Приготовьтесь к тому, что не все дороги будут по-европейски идеальны и будьте внимательны, тем более, что они узкие и имеют много изгибов.

Итак, начинаем с Монтепульчано (Montepulciano). Этот невероятный старинный городок, расположенный на горе, потребует часа 2-3 времени для осмотра. Уж слишком он великолепен! Остановиться можно внизу, не заезжая в тесный исторический центр. Парковка очень длинная и бесплатная. Уже прямо с нее открываются шикарные виды.


Уезжая отсюда, не поленитесь остановиться и полюбоваться видами на город снизу, Вы поймете, насколько он был неприступен в средние века.


Но наша задача, – это именно сельские, а не городские пейзажи, поэтому следуем далее, в сторону деревни Пиенза (Pienza). Прямо на первых километрах Вы увидите то самое, ради чего и выбрались сюда!

деревня Пиенза

И это только начало! Дальше будет круче и ожидаемый восторг будет только нарастать! Вот они, те самые ряды кипарисов вдоль дорог! Они прекрасно растут по всей Италии, но почему-то очень популярны именно в этом регионе и являются одним из символов Тосканы!

деревня Pienza

И мы с Вами движемся дальше, в городок San Quirico d’Orcia. Он тоже чудесный и если время позволяет, можно по нему погулять!

Все остальные деревни и городки будут небольшими, смотреть их можете по желанию, поэтому они будут служить лишь ориентирами для того, чтобы передвигаться дальше. Наш следующий ориентир, — поселок Bagno Vignoni. По дороге станет понятно, что Тоскана – важный сельскохозяйственный регион. Множество работающих фермеров, стога, трактора и даже запах от ферм станет тому подтверждением. Запах передать не смогу, а трактор вот!

городок San Quirico d

Начинаются и очень контрастные поля. По всей видимости, разные культуры дают разные цвета, даже после того, как урожай собран комбайнами.

разноцветные поля Тосканы

Следующий пункт — Castiglione d’Orcia. Вы узнаете его по развалинам замка, расположенным на горе над городком. Они видны за много километров.

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Оказывается, кипарисы бывают совсем маленькими и даже требуют опоры! Даже высотой в 2-3 метра они смотрятся очень живописно.

кипарисы на полях Тосканы

Самый дальний пункт, – это Gallina. Вы его легко запомните, так как по-итальянски Галлина – это курица! Поля здесь еще более контрастные, пересекаются желтая стерня, перепаханная земля и какие-то посевы других цветов.


Солнце, выглядывающее из-за туч, лучами освещает отдельные места и это добавляет живописности!

живописная Тоскана

Возможно, Вы выберете другой маршрут, вариантов миллион. А может, понравится и этот. Не всегда же хочется напрягаться и изобретать велосипед. Для того, чтобы получить впечатление от долины Валь д’Орча в Тоскане, маршрут вполне годный! Удачного путешествия!

Castello di Velona Resort, Thermal Spa & Winery – Tuscany, Italy

Set high on a hilltop in the hills of Siena, Castello di Velona Resort – Tuscany, Italy was once an 11th-century fortress which fell into ruins and has been beautifully restored to produce a magnificent hotel. Overlooking the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO heritage site, it is in a prime position to enjoy the best of Tuscany’s food, wine and wonderful countryside views.

With its magical setting, the views from Castello di Velona Hotel’s rooms are breath-taking. The antique-filled Castle rooms and suites have oak-beams, vaulted roofs, cotto floors and decorative fireplaces. The more contemporary Sunset spa rooms have private patios to enjoy the region’s spectacular sunsets and bathtubs fed by the thermal waters of the resort’s natural mineral hot springs.

Take a walk along the Orcia River near Castello di Velona Hotel or a bike ride through the shaded country roads. There are plenty of opportunities to go horse riding through this beautiful countryside or head to the medieval villages of Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, San Quirico d’Orcia or to nearby Siena. Return to relax in the hotel’s spa with its hot springs discovered during the castle’s renovation.


Inviting and refined rooms where history’s charm blends with modern design and comfort. The Castello di Velona Resort , Thermal Spa & Winery offers 46 rooms, divided between the ancient castle area and the new area. All 46 rooms and suites are elegantly appointed with period furniture, antiques and prized fabrics and materials. The style of the “Castle” rooms is warm and cosy with exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, terracotta tile floors and large decorative fireplaces. In each room, hand-made decorative motifs and paintings of different colour shades combine with the warm hues of fabrics and furnishings. The 19 new “Sunset” rooms and suites of the castle’s new wing are characterised by a linear and contemporary design and stylish furnishings. These elegant accommodations feature large travertine bathrooms with thermal water and a private garden for exclusive moments of relax. The Sunset Spa rooms and suites have a private cabin for treatment, to enjoy wellness treatments in the privacy of its own room. All of the rooms provide a stunning panoramic view of the Val d’Orcia and the vineyards that surround the castle.


With the aromas of the herbs and spices and typical colours of the Tuscan countryside, the vineyards and olive groves surrounding the Castle, the Hotel’s wine and food offer fully satisfies the body and soul, both in the rustic Il Brunello in the historical part of the Castle, and in the modern setting of the Settimo Senso Restaurant, created in the new wing.

The rooms inside look onto the Val D’Orcia thanks to the panoramic terraces of the Castle’s two restaurants, one to the east, exposed to the first rays of the sun, the other to the west, pointing towards the sunset.

Here guests experience complete sensory emotions, immersed in the silence and romance of the landscape, sampling fine wines and the olive oil produced by the Castle estate, and tasting the specialities of regional Tuscan and Mediterranean Italian cuisine, a blend of creativity in the kitchen and respect for the seasons and for genuine ingredients.


The Old Spa at Castello di Velona offers a complete fusion between the well-being of the treatments, the natural elements, the landscape, the products of nature, the silence and stunning scenery of the Val d’Orcia.

The perfection of travertine marble is the dominant element of the wellness area featuring a bright ambient with an elegant linear design.

The use of this prestigious material, a Tuscan tradition, characterize also the large pools of warm water, boasting a unique view of the Val d’Orcia, a Unesco world heritage site.

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