DISCOVER ITALY: SIENA
Situated in central-southern Tuscany, the Province of Siena extends over some of the most famous and fascinating Tuscan territories, e.g. the southern hills of Chianti, Val d’Elsa and Val di Merse, Val d’Arbia, Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia, right up to the slopes of Mount Amiata.
The Province’s Capital, Siena, is a magnificent city of art with characteristic alleys, wards (rioni) and towers, artisan shops and buildings that make it a not-to-be-missed touristic destination for Italians and foreigners. Moving through Siena’s lands and immersing yourself in this atmosphere is a magical adventure, a trip through many landscapes, from dense woodlands to old farms, from clay hills to stupendous paths.
Furthermore, the territory preserves numerous remains from the Middle Ages, springing out along the Via Francigena, the great pilgrimage road to Rome that crossed Val d’Elsa, the city of Siena and Val d’Orcia. Walking through this countryside, you can admire impressive abbeys such as Sant’Antimo, Romanesque parishes (pievi) and characteristic small towns (borghi) such as San Quirico d’Orcia or San Gimignano, which preserve their original appearance to this day.
The Chianti area, home to the famous wine, is also an enchanting part of Tuscany that hosts tucked-away towns such as Castellina, and dense vineyards, such as those of Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti or Castelnuovo Berardenga, as well as delicious enogastronomic itineraries.
The landscape south of Siena leading towards the Medieval center of Asciano is dominated by the typical Crete, clay lands where erosion has created crevices, openings and cracks. It is an impressive area where the imposing Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore stands out. Val d’Elsa is also very impressive with its characteristic towns Colle di Val d’Elsa, Poggibonsi and San Gimignano, that boasts inestimable artistic heritage.
Val di Merse is constituted of solitary but fascinating places, including the ruins of the San Galgano Abbey that date back to the 13th Century. Val di Chiana provokes emotion and offers its visitors elevated health and well-being, thanks to its thermal spa centers in Chianciano Terme, Montepulciano and San Casciano dei Bagni.
Hills and gullies, Tuscan cypress trees, the river, olive groves and vineyards: this is the landscape animating Val d’Orcia, protected by UNESCO. Here magnificent towns abide, from Pienza and San Quirico to Montalcino and Castiglione; in the west lie Mount Amiata and the solitary Rocca di Radicofani.