Siena: Where art and nature live together
The province of Siena is going to amaze you with its several different faces. If you are looking for nature you'll enjoy the smooth hills with row of cypress trees (where many scenes of the movie The Gladiator were shot), wild woods with caves to explore, isolated mountains for exclusive adventures; otherwise if is history you are interested in, not just in the city of Siena but in each village, castle, church or monastery you can discover the centuries from the mysteries of the Etruscans, to the battles of Middle Ages until the magnificence of Renaissance.
In each tour you will recognize all the facets of the landscape that 700 years ago Ambrogio Lorenzetti depicted in his famous fresco of Buongoverno (TheGood Government) and admire how little has changed in those hills!
You can decide to have a pocket lunch with a sandwich with Cinta Senese ham or pecorino cheese or stop in typical restaurants for wild boar pappardelle or mushrooms pici with a glass of Chianti Classico, Brunello or Vernaccia, finishing with a refreshing ice cream.
And finally you can decide if you want to enjoy all this moving with an easy hike, a trekking, a bike tour or a Vespa ride.
Going for a ride on the most famous Italian two wheels: here is an alternative for warmer months. We will enjoy a unique experience exploring large portions of territory along those roads that have been location in Tuscany of countless commercials.
An adventure for the lazy but also for all those who want to visit many places in just one day. The comfortable and reliable Vespa is easy to drive and leads to a quiet ride thus revealing the fascinating essence of Siena countryside.
Villages and Castles of Chianti Northwards
Castellina in Chianti, Radda , Gaiole in Chianti, Lecchi, San Sano
The three countries representing the Chianti region: the countries of the “League of Chianti” symbolized by the Gallo Nero (or black rooster), the folkloric emblem of the Chianti wine zone of Tuscany. In addition, the tour is enriched with two small jewels that preserve an ancient and original beauty: the hamlets of San Sano and Lecchi. The pride of belonging to this land shines through the extreme care and protection that the inhabitants of those hills reserve to their landscape. Wine and extra virgin oil products are famous all over the world, a result of passion, art and love.
Villages and Castles of Chianti Eastwards
San Marcellino, Cacchiano, Rietine, Castagnoli, San Gusmè, Castelnuovo Berardenga.
Moving eastwards the landscape starts changing, and coming down from the highest point, Monte Luco you can enjoy a beautiful view over the southern part of the province of Siena, dominated by the rolling hills of the Crete. Most of the tour takes place in Castelnuovo Berardenga, the largest village. Castles and hamlets, vineyards of Chianti Classico and olive groves, fields and woods give this corner of the province the typical aspect already depicted a thousand years ago in the famous paintings of the Sienese school.
Asciano, Monte Oliveto and Crete
Leonina, Mucigliani, Asciano, Chiusure, Monte Oliveto, Buonconvento.
Gentle slopes and sinuous bends draw the hills in the Crete. The soft skyline of this part of Siena recalls its geological origin. You will feel as if you are sailing in a sea, now cultivated with wheat. Biancane and gullies sprouting in these stretches of green in spring, golden in summer. Flocks of sheep graze contributing to the first stage of the long life of that magical process leading to the production of pecorino-cheese. In this part of the province, covered in fields and pastures and almost completely devoid of forests, your eyes sweep over large distances where you will see the most famous livestocks of the Palio, the incredible horse race of Siena.
Pienza and Val D'Orcia
Pienza, Monticchiello, Bagno Vignoni, San Quirico, Buonconvento.
The ideal town wanted by Pope Pius II, is UNESCO site considering that it “is of outstanding universal value as it represents the first application of the Renaissance Humanist concept of urban design, and as such occupies a seminal position in the development of the concept of the planned "ideal town" which was to play a significant role in subsequent urban development in Italy and beyond. The application of this principle in Pienza, and in particular in the group of buildings around the central square, resulted in a masterpiece of human creative genius.”.
The other villages are no less so: all among the most beautiful in Italy, absolute jewels surrounded by the green hills of a magnificent countryside.
Val D'Orcia, Montalcino and Sant'Antimo
Castiglion d'Orcia, Sant'Antimo, Montalcino, Buonconvento.
The UNESCO site Val d'Orcia "is an exceptional reflection of the way the landscape was re-written in Renaissance times to reflect the ideals of good governance and to create an aesthetically pleasing pictures… The landscape of the Val d’Orcia was celebrated by painters from the Sienese School, which flourished during the Renaissance. Images of the Val d’Orcia, and particularly depictions of landscapes where people are depicted as living in harmony with nature, have come to be seen as icons of the Renaissance and have profoundly influenced the development of landscape thinking.” UNESCO justification explains everything. Add the magnificent Abbey of Sant’Antimo, Brunello di Montalcino and the day can be only unforgettable.
Murlo AND Val di Merse
Radi, Murlo, Casciano, Orgia, Brenna, Stigliano, Torri.
The wild heart of the city of the Palio. Impenetrable woods extending to the sea, clean rivers flowing in deep valleys and in hidden and perched villages. This tour takes place almost entirely along roads surrounding woods. We are in fact in the area that has historically supplied Siena of firewood, coal and chestnuts. Reflecting the vocation of the territory, the villages we cross are of an essential and hard beauty, full of a unique charm.
Monteriggioni AND Montagnola
Sovicille, Ancaiano, Simignano, Pievescola, Strove, Abbadia Isola, Monteriggioni.
The Montagnola, the small mountain of Siena. The karstic summit of Montemaggio, rich in caves and covered with impenetrable scrub, was the favorite hideout of the partisans in War World II, 19 of them were killed here in a mass execution. The tour runs through this rough relief in the few and deserted streets that cross it. Some of the most famous parish churches in the province are hidden in this area as Ponte allo Spino and Molli, in addition to the small villages, the magnificent Abbadia Isola (A Romanesque abbey) and Monteriggioni, the superb village that Dante Alighieri mentioned in the Divine Comedy.
Monteriggioni, Colle Val d'Elsa, Castel San Gimignano, San Gimignano.
San Gimignano, UNESCO site "A masterpiece of human creative genius… an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history... a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition...". Part of this tour takes place on the border with the historic rival Florence. The larger villages of the province, a variety of landscape that summarizes a bit all the features of the Siena territory. Forests and rivers, vineyards and olive groves, villages and castles all in one tour in the land of the Vernaccia, probably the most famous white wine of the province.
The medieval walls, gates and fountains. The secret places and the historical shops.
Siena, UNESCO site for "is a masterpiece of dedication and creativity were buildings where designed to be part of the entire project of urban organization and furthermore to be one with surrounding cultural scenery" can be visited in many different ways. Away from the most crowded itineraries, you can be fascinated by the alleys, the chants and the contrade (the 17 neighborhood of the city). Here, more than inside the Cathedral, in the Piazza del Campo during the Palio or in the top of Torre del Mangia, you'll have the chance to pick the real soul of Middle Ages and Renaissance in Tuscany.