The Italian Touch: The Beauty Of Siena And The Val d'Orcia

We’ve partnered with Vogue Italia to explore the Italian Touch – the unique Italian attitude towards life, craft and food that makes our country and the people who live in it so special. Today we take a trip through the rolling hills of the Val d’Orcia to the beautiful city of Siena, sharing some of the area’s highlights along the way.

Home to Popes and painters, Siena and the Val d’Orcia also take centre stage when temperatures drop. Offering excursions on vintage motorbikes amid the vineyards, relaxing breaks at various SPAs and cultural festivals, this is the perfect place to visit all year round.

On foot or by train

Last October Siena spearheaded the 13th National Day of Urban Trekking, which in 2016 was dedicated to the Jubilee. Exploring Siena by foot or train is a great way to discover the most inspiring places in the city, and learn about its stories and legends along unique paths that blend culture and folklore. Meanwhile, the Treno Natura project guides visitors to discover the Val d’Orcia aboard a vintage steam locomotive.

Cultural sights

The Siena Cathedral (Duomo) is an absolute must-see, and visitors will be able to admire its newly restored inlaid marble mosaic floor. This is closely followed by the Museo Civico and two true gems: the frescoed Museum of Santa Maria alla Scala and the Museum of Natural History.

Wellness and relax

In the land that is home to various Popes, it’s not surprise that you’ll be able to find many miracle waters. In Rapolano Terme the hills and rocks hide the thermal water pools of the Terme Antica Querciolaia. Another option is the wonderful Spa of the Adler Thermae Hotel, in San Quirico d’Orcia.

Wines and typical products

Wine is a prominent part of life in this area, and October especially is the month of grape harvesting and celebrating. In Siena, the “Senarum Vinea” project aims at restoring old wine varieties in the historical centre and in close proximity to the city walls. Another unusual way to discover the flavours of the Val d’Orcia are the tours organised by the young operators of Vintage Tours, an agency specialising in Vespa, Lambretta or vintage car rentals. Visitors may choose between 60s, 70s or 80s vehicles as they discover the Crete Senesi or the valley’s characteristic wines and foods, like the pici, the local cold cuts, and the famous Pecorino cheese of Pienza. Finally, cheese factory “Il Fiorino” is definitely worth a visit to taste its Tuscan Pecorino cheese, which bears the protected designation of origin (PDO) label.

This article originally appeared on Vogue Italia.