Natural, Artistic and Cultural Park
If you happened at least once in life to think of an iconic Tuscan landscape, it is highly likely that the first image suggested by your mind was a gentle hill adorned with cypress trees, namely a glimpse of Val d’Orcia. Crossed by the namesake river, amid fairy-tale villages and mighty fortresses towering the valley, this stunning area is located in the southern part of the Province of Siena. Val D’Orcia includes the municipalities of Castiglione d’Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, Radicofani and San Quirico d’Orcia, as well as the thermal locations of Bagno Vignoni and Bagni San Filippo, up to the very slopes of Mount Amiata. Protected by a Natural, Artistic and Cultural Park, the valley was recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage, especially due to its “renaissance landscapes”, redesigned according to criteria of “good governance” and source of inspiration for many painters of the Sienese school and beyond. The city of Pienza, an “ideal city” designed from scratch in the fifteenth century as wished by Pope Pius II, is a perfect example of how this land was shaped according to specific aesthetic parameters while remaining in harmony with nature.