The land around Siena preserves treasures of art and history of incalculable value in every town and village, in a landscape stretching from the steep valleys of white clay to the hills and heights of Montalcino, land of Brunello wine.
Chianciano Terme and the Spa
Arrival at Chianciano and transfer to the hotel. Tour of this spa town, the waters of which are renowned for curing liver ailments. Walk from Parco delle Fonti to Parco di Fucoli, to the Acquasanta Complex and the building of the Sant’Elena source. After lunch, visit to the Civic Museum of Archaeology, inaugurated in 1997, to admire artefacts excavated in the area. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Brunello di Montalcino and the Oil of San Quirico d’Orcia
After breakfast, transfer to Montalcino, surrounded by its ancient walls and overlooked by the 14th-century citadel. In the historical centre of the town are the Town Hall, the Cathedral, and the Civic Museum of Archaeology. A sight not to be missed is the Abbey of Sant’Antimo, rising in the midst of the countryside. Montalcino is the home of Brunello, the famous red wine that can be tasted in the local wineries. These include Castello Banfi and the Biondi-Santi wine cellar, considered the “cathedral” of Brunello. After lunch at the restaurant “Poggio Antico”, transfer to San Quirico d’Orcia. The 5th-century walls surround this ancient town with its Romanesque collegiate church and Palazzo Chigi. The typical products of this area include oil, which can be tasted at the stone oil-press of Simonelli in the centre of San Quirico. Nearby is Bagno Vignoni, an ancient spa town overlooking Val d’Orcia. Return to Chianciano for dinner and overnight stay.
Vino Nobile of Montepulciano and Cacio Cheese from Pienza
After breakfast, transfer to Montepulciano, pearl of the 16th century. Piazza Grande is surrounded by buildings such as the Public Palace, the Cathedral, and a number of palaces by Sangallo and Peruzzi. In the valley below the town is the Church of San Biagio, a masterpiece by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder. Visit to the Avignonesi, Fossati and Gattavecchi wine-growers, the latter renowned for the Vino Nobile preserved in its ancient cellars, hewn out of rock and tufo-stone, under the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi. After lunch at the restaurant “Il Pulcino”, transfer to Pienza, once known as Corsignano but renamed in honour of Pope Pius II, who restored the ancient town in the mid 15th century. The main square is surrounded by Palazzo Piccolomini, the Cathedral, the Town Hall and the Episcopal Palace. Many typical products may be found in the shops of the centre, including saffron, which is harvested from end-October, white truffles from the clay hills of Siena and the famous cacio cheese from Pienza. Departure as planned.