The area in which the Chianciano thermal spa has been developed is surrounded by wooded hills, which are free from serious pollution problems and as such undoubtedly provide the best safeguard for the ecological and hydrological system of the area, which is rich in water with highly curative properties. In fact, within the territory, which is in practice becoming a single immense thermal centre, there are other important spas; those of San Casciano dei Bagni and of Montepulciano, which are now famous and visited throughout the year by a huge and enthusiastic international clientele.
The city centre too, in perfect harmony with the surrounding countryside, retains a considerable amount of green space with its numerous parks and public gardens and offers all the climatic and tourist advantages arising from its lucky geographic position. Its favourable location and outstanding accommodation facilities also make Chianciano an ideal base for visiting the many centres of art and culture in Tuscany and bordering Umbria. One need only think of Sarteano, Torrita, Trequanda and Cortona which are only a very short distance away; also less than an hour's car ride away are Siena, Florence, Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi, Todi and so many other places. A few kilometres away we find two real treasures: Montepulciano which, with its grand buildings and squares, keeps alive the magical atmosphere of the sixteenth century; and Pienza, created by the architect Rossellino for Pope Pio II, perhaps the only true example remaining in the world of the "perfect town" of the Renaissance period.
The types of cultural events or simple distractions on offer in the area are many and varied; feasts and festivals, theatre and folk art performances, concerts.
A few examples include the "Bruscello" (twig), the "Bravìo delle Botti" (Barrel Rolling Contest) and the "Cantiere dell'Arte" (Arts Workshop) in Montepulciano; the "Giostra del Saracino" (Saracen jousting tournament) in Sarteano; the "Palio delle Torri" (Towers horse race) in Chiusi; the "Concerti in Terra di Siena" (sienna concerts) in Chianciano, Pienza and Sinalunga. In Monticchiello, a small neighbourhood of Pienza, there is an annual performance in the town square by the "Teatro Povero" of a piece which is developed and performed with the active involvement of the whole community.
In Chianciano, a further cultural opportunity is provided by the splendid Museo Civico Archeologico "Delle Acque" (Waters Archaeological Museum), created from the numerous archaeological remains which continue to come to light even in the middle of the town centre, showing the Etruscan origins of Chianciano. But also across the entire area new discoveries are continually being made and have resulted in the opening of museums in Cetona, Sarteano, Pienza, not to mention that of Chiusi, which is now one of the most important archaeological museums in Italy.
Cover image credit: Sabri