Between Val di Chiana and Val d’Orcia, the land around Siena is rich in history, tradition and monuments evoking its etruscan origins, like Porsenna’s Labyrinth at Chiusi, and the Renaissance splendour of such towns as Montepulciano and Pienza.
Arrival at Chianciano and transfer to the hotel. Tour of this spa town, the waters of which are renowned for curing liver ailments. The waters were discovered in Etruscan times and the health benefits of the thermal springs were already famous among the Romans. The town’s recent expansion is also linked to the spa and relaxing holidays in the vast Acquasanta Park. 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.
From Montepulciano to Pienza
After breakfast, visit to Montepulciano, which, according to legend, was founded by the Etruscan king Porsenna. The town is also known as the 16th-century pearl because of its beautiful religious, public and private buildings designed by Sangallo
the Elder, to whom we owe the tower of San Biagio, Palazzo Contucci and Palazzo Tarugi; Michelozzo, who designed the Town Hall and the façade of Sant’Agostino, and Vignola, architect of the Palazzo Avignonesi and Logge del Grano. Also worth a visit are the ancient cellars used to age the famous Vino Nobile. After lunch at the restaurant “Il Pulcino”, excursion 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 by the Episcopal Palace. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
From Lake Chiusi to Monte Cetona
After breakfast, departure for Lake Chiusi - all that is left of the marches that once covered Val di Chiana. Continue on to Chiusi, one of the most powerful of the 12 Etruscan cities where King Porsenna attacked Rome in 520 B.C.. Etruscan civilization can be admired in the many necropolises, in the National Museum of Archaeology, and in the underground passage, known as Porsenna’s Labyrinth, that wanders among tunnels dug to supply and drain water. After lunch at the restaurant “Da Zaira”, visit to Sarteano, where the necropolis evokes its Etruscan origins. The ancient rock town was rebuilt in the 15th century, although the façade of the Church of St. Francis recalls that of the Pienza Cathedral. In fact, it was built on the order of Pius III, nephew of Pius II and born in Sarteano. Nearby Cetona is built in an unusual concentric form around the peak of the hill. The rectangular main square dates from the 16th century, forming a breathtaking entrance to the old fortified town. Departure as planned.