A Land of Art and Traditions
A longlasting experience in the Val di Chiana and the Orcia Valley
Tuscany is a region where the magnificence of the landscapes is linked to a long history of conquest.
From its Italic origins to the Etruscans, to the Roman rule to a Tuscany of today that has always had a strong artistic connotation. Each century is represented by great masters in Art, Literature or Architecture, and today we can enjoy all their works of art in every corner of this beautiful and suggestive countryside.
What a better setting for all this natural beauty, starting with the rolling hills, the endless land with rich animal wildlife, to the the mountains and marveillous seaside.
A must when speaking about a vacation in Tuscany is an “experience”, stay in these places and being guided to discover the wonders of this region, will give you a sense of peace and tranquillity that you will never forget.
THE IDEAL CITY
Pienza rose from the little village of Consignano, where Pope Pius II Piccolomini was born, and who decide to restore it after seeing its abandonment, and so he decided to create “ The Idea City”, entrusting the project to the Architect Bernardo Rossellino. The work lasted for about four years, but after the death of the Pope there were no more important changes made. Thus from this planned project the Renaissance Idea City was created. In 1996 Pienza was declared a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site for art, culture and nature and in 2004 this recognition was extended to the entire Orcia Valley
THE CITY OF THE PALIO
The historical center of Siena was recognized by UNESCO as a World Human Heritage site for its substantial unity of style, and architectonical heritage, perfectly preserved dating back to the medieval period. In the tenth century, Siena was an important commercial center along the road to Rome, this favoured economical development and political growth of the city , which began to build its firsts alliances, and to fight against the northern dominance of the region, while creating an irremediable break with Florence, but at the same time keeping a good rapport with Rome and the Vatican State. In the town developed strong financial activities, which made Siena one of the most important centers for exchanging money, and making loans and grants especially for the Vatican. The town is divided into thirds and with each one having its own coat-of-arms. Every year in Siena on the 2nd July, and the 16th August in the Piazza del Campo, there is the traditional Palio, a bareback horse race, between the Contrades of Siena, that monopolizes the attention of the entire city for several days. This event is the result of a meticulous careful organization of each single Contrada and the people who are part of it, and who conduct an intense social life throughout the year.
THE TOWN OF BRUNELLO
Montalcino is set on the north-west side of Monte Amiata at 564 meters above sea level on a pe-existing Etruscan site. Thanks to its position, it dominates, from the top of the hill, a view of the valley from Ombrone to Asso. In the medieval period Montalcino, was well known for its leather works. It maintained a period of peace and freedom for a long time, that ended with its involvement with the Siena government and took part in the battle of Montaperti in 1260, and after the fall of Siena in 1555 many noble families came to live here, creating an exiled Republic of Siena In the mid twentieth century, it became an area dedicated to the cultivation of vineyards which totally changed the destiny of the town, becoming very important for the production of Rosso di Montalcino made with the Sangiovese grapes and most of all for the world famous Brunello.
THE FIRST PUBLIC GARDEN
The town of San Quirico d’Orcia was on the Via Francigena, the Pilgrim’s Way, to Rome, in the past this represented an important place for pilgrims and for commerce. Grand buildings such as the Chiesa della Collegiata, or the magnificent Palazzo Chigi appear in the heart of the town, surrounded by the ancient walls , which are well preserved in the southern part, but unfortunately in the northern part, two gates and the walls have been destroyed. Outside of the center, is the Horti Leonini, a perfect example of a public garden, as it was intended by its creator and founder Diomede Leoni. It is set out in a radiating pattern, accentuated by boxwood hedgerows at various heights, the path crossing it leads to a stairway and an upper courtyard with a garden. Called a Renaissance garden it has esoteric references with the shape of the hedgerows reproducing the Maltese Cross, the thoroughfare for the pilgrims and their consequent need of hospitality, is perhaps the reason for this example of a garden, created to be enjoyed by everyone.
THE ANCIENT THERMAL TOWN
Bagni Vignoni is a small town in the municipality of San Quirico D’Orcia in the Orcia Valley, in the province of Siena. In the very center of the village is the “ Piazza delle Sorgenti” a rectangular pool from the 1500’s that surrounds a warm spring with its steamy thermal waters which flow from the originally volcanic underground steata.. Since the Etruscan and Roman times, as witnessed by many historical findings, many people in the past enjoyed the thermal bath of Bagno Vignoni. The thermal waters which are discharged from the thermal swimming pool, flow towards the natural sheer cliff of the Water Mill Park where four medieval mills are dug into the rocks, these were fundamental to the local economy, because, thanks to the constant flow of the water it guaranteed the mills functioned even during the summer, when other mills stopped as the rivers dried up.