Relax in Chianciano Terme
As a base, we suggest you choose Chianciano Terme, in the middle between the Val di Chiana and Val d'Orcia areas, which works well because it’s the perfect spot for starting your holiday in a relaxing way. Chianciano Terme – as the name suggests – is a town full of thermal baths and a great place to stay for those who want to make R&R the main focus of their holidays.
In addition to the spa treatments, take a few hours to stroll the historic city centre of Chianciano. The town is situated on a hill with a fantastic view, so that you can walk through the narrow streets and capture breath-taking views on camera.
Exploring Val D'Orcia
Val d'Orcia at its best
After a full day at the spa, it's time to explore the Val d’Orcia! It is a very wide area, so here are a few tips to make the most of your day.
Start from Montepulciano, also blissfully located in the middle of Val D'orcia and Val di Chiana, where there are many attractions worth visiting. The town is known as a jewel of the 1500s thanks to its Renaissance art and architecture: visit Piazza Grande, which is at the highest point of Montepulciano, and have a look at the tower and the Gothic façade of the Palazzo Comunale and the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. There are also many panoramic views worth enjoying, especially the one in Piazza San Francesco, where you can observe the surrounding hills and the church of the Madonna di San Biagio.
Our next stop is Pienza, but before reaching the archetypal Renaissance town, the countryside of Monticchiello is worth a visit. Monticchiello is a beautiful medieval village surrounded by scenic cypress-lined roads. Winding your way through its rolling green hills, you’ll undoubtedly feel at home in this tranquil countryside!
Once you arrive in Pienza, the hometown of Pope Pius II, the city will surprise you because it has hardly changed over the centuries. In 1996 Pienza was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the magnificent views, Piazza Pio II, the streets with "romantic" names such as Via del Bacio (Kiss Street) and Via dell'Amore (Love Street) and... for the cheese!
Since you’ll probably be there for lunch, know that there are also other delicacies you have to taste, including pici pasta and sausages of Cinta Senese.
After lunch, it’s time for San Quirico d’Orcia. It is located along the Via Francigena, therefore it was once a place where travellers could rest, eat and pray before continuing on their way. San Quirico is a small village with a beautiful church from 714, a Rose Garden and green spaces within the ancient, narrow streets.
Just outside San Quirico d’Orcia, don’t miss the typically Tuscan Church of the Madonna di Vitaleta, a little jewel you may have already heard of.
The last stop of the car ride is Bagno Vignoni, a popular destination known especially for its hot springs and the central Square of Sources with a 16th century tank containing thermal waters. There are also great views on Rocca d’Orcia and on the Orcia River.
These are just some of the wonderful places that you can find in Val d’Orcia. If you have more time to explore, you can go to Sant’Antimo, Castiglione d’Orcia, Sarteano, Radicofani and more.