The Val di Chiana – Siena area has soft borders, just like the levity of its sunrises, the reddening of its sundowns, which are reflected in the serene Crete, in the rare and charming biancane, in the Orcia canyons, borders that glimmer on the lakes in Chiusi and Montepulciano, are rooted in the mysterious Etruscan civilization, bounce off the ruggedness of Cetona and gush forth from the springs in Chianciano and San Casciano.
Everything here speaks of charm and harmony: from the history rooted in legend and Etruscan mystery to the pleasure of treating yourself to an afternoon of well-being (at the hot springs in Chianciano Terme, Montepulciano and San Casciano dei Bagni) and gluttonous delight (particularly when it comes to Montepulciano wines, the culinary delights of Sinalunga and the extra-virgin olive oil made in Trequanda); not to mention the harmony of the landscape and architecture (in Sarteano, Torrita di Siena and the aristocratic and graceful Cetona) and the beauty of fine living, a distinctive trait of this ancient territory.
Just think of the legend of Porsenna, the Etruscan king who dared to challenge Rome and won, or Orazio, who spoke about Chianciano as Augustus’s favourite hot springs, or even the Abbot of Cluny, who was welcomed as a guest, and then imprisoned by Ghino di Tacco. And there’s also Lorenzo the Magnificent, who entrusted Poliziano with educating his children, with whom the painter was so popular that the family even chose Montepulciano – the centre of the Sienese Renaissance – as their preferred destination when they wanted to get away from city life.
The charm of this land comes from the fact that here, more than any other place, the spirit of the Etruscan civilization lives on. The Val di Chiana extends between the most important towns in the ancient society. In fact, the culture is still alive and well in some of the most unexpected places: like in a cut of Chianina steak(this white veal are descendants of the Apisbull, sacred to the Etruscans), in a glass of Nobile di Montepulciano (the Redi in its “Tuscan Bacchus” has been celebrated as the king of wines since the 600s) or in solitary wandering throughout the town centres, from a healthy dip in the hot springs to a sip of the beneficial waters capable of restoring vitality.
Today, all this translates into the highest level of hospitality and in opportunities to meet the artisans who carry on ancient traditions: this are the DNA of the Val di Chiana – Siena area, roots that can be seen in the territory’s extraordinary liveability, colours and music that characterize this unparalleled land, the synthesis of a blue rhapsody, an Etrsucan blue.