Val d’Orcia is the jewel in the crown when it comes to the stunning heart of Italy known as Tuscany. Art, history and nature abound and yet many overlook this part of the region in favour of the busier, more crowded cities. For those in the know, however, day trips from Florence to this beautiful part of the world are a highlight of any trip to Tuscany.
Here we share our reasons for why you should book one of the many days trips from Florence that take you to this wonderful part of Italy.
Unrivalled and Unspoilt Beauty
Renowned as one of the most iconic locations, in terms of landscapes, in Tuscany, this valley has been the focus of many a professional photographer’s work. Rolling hills dotted with hilltop villages, fortresses and isolated farmsteads stretch into the distance, while cypress-lined roads provide the classic landscape feature we all associate with Tuscany. As the seasons change the light does too, and nowhere in the world does the natural light appear to dance with the scenery in such a majestic way than in the gorgeous Val d’Orcia.
The Val d’Orcia is no exception when it comes to great Italian food, but like its neighboring regions it has a few specialties locals are especially proud of. Most famous for its cheese production, thanks to the abundance of sheep that graze on the fertile grassy slopes, the area is home to the world renowned Pecorino di Pienza. There will be lots of opportunities on day trips from Florence to taste and, of course, purchase the cheese.
Indulge in the Hot Springs
This part of Italy is quite vigorous when it comes to volcanic activity and the the region boasts plenty of hot springs, some of which you can visit for free. Locals have been frequenting these springs for centuries hoping to soak up the therapeutic benefits of the soothing mineral-rich water. Bagno Vignoni is the place to head to on day trips from Florence if you fancy an indulging soak.
The Triangle of Wines
The Val d’Orcia sits right in the middle of three famous Tuscan wine growing areas: Montepulciano, famous for the Vino Nobile, Montalcino, known for the Brunello, and Orcia itself where Orica DOC is produced. There are several options to enjoy some wine tasting while in the vicinity and lots of opportunities to purchase a bottle or two to take home as well.
The Great Outdoors
There is no denying the beauty of this area and for anyone who loves to take a hike or even a bike ride while on their holidays, there are endless opportunities. The hills are gentle and the trails are plentiful, with lots of beauty spots to stop off for coffee, lunch and gelato!
When considering day trips from Florence, a tour to Val d’Orcia should be at the top of the list. The relaxed vibe and stunning views offer the perfect alternative to city sightseeing. Book with a reputable local tour operator and you are guaranteed an authentic and memorable trip.
Mauro Bramante is the Director of Walk About Florence, an independent business offering unforgettable tours and excursions around Italy including the best day trips from Florence. Whether you want to ride a Vintage Vespa, try the famous Chianti wine or get cooking with fresh local ingredients, Mauro’s company promises excitement, adventure and above all, fun. If you’re keen to experience the magic of Italy with the help of some passionate and knowledgeable tour guides, look no further than WalkAbout Florence for your next getaway.