One of the most charming towns we visited during our May trip to Italy was Pienza, situated in Tuscany between Montepulciano and Montalcino (also worth a visit if you're in the area). Pienza is best known for its delicious pecorino cheeses, arguably the best of which is its "sotto cenere," or "under ashes," variety, produced between October and July and seasoned for up to two months to develop its distinctive flavor.
Another reason to visit Pienza is its incredible, prototypically-Tuscan postcard views of the rolling hills, cypress trees and rustic estates in the Val d'Orcia surrounding the town. When visiting Pienza, make sure to bring your appetite - between its rich cheeses, delicious meats and bold wines, Pienza is a culinary treat!
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One of our favorite parts of Italy was the gorgeous Tuscan region, filled with the endless rolling hills, stately cypress trees and rustic estates most people associate with Tuscany. The area around Pienza, Montepulciano and Montalcino, known as the Val d'Orcia, is the best place to find these postcard views. We spent several days leisurely exploring Tuscany and loved everything about it, from the breathtaking scenery to the centuries-old towns to the delicious food and wine. When considering a trip to Italy, definitely consider taking a few days to explore the towns scattered through the Val d'Orcia, you won't be disappointed!
On any visit to central Italy, a trip through magical Tuscany is a must-do. For postcard-beautiful views of the rolling hills, tall cypresses and rambling estates that most people associate with Tuscany, head to the scenic Val d'Orcia. Some of the most interesting towns to visit in the Val d'Orcia are centuries-old Pienza, Montepulciano and Montalcino. They offer something for everyone, from fascinating history and breathtaking churches to charming shops and delicious restaurants.
When planning a trip to Italy, definitely consider spending some time exploring the regions of Tuscan and Umbria - you won't be disappointed.
When visiting beautiful Tuscany in May, a highlight for us was the charming, centuries-old town of Pienza. Surrounded by the rolling hills, tall cypresses and rambling estates of the Val d'Orcia, with views that people typically associate with Tuscany, Pienza is a great place to spend a few hours. Best known for its delicious pecorino cheeses, purported to be the best in all of Italy, Pienza also has a lot of talented artisans, like this leatherworker who created high-quality leather goods. Pienza is definitely worth a stop on any trip through Tuscany, and bring a hearty appetite - its huge selection of rich cheeses and meats is delicious.
Tuscany's centuries-old Pienza is one of the region's most beautiful towns, and one of its most delicious too. Situated between Montepulciano and Montalcino in the scenic Val d'Orcia, Pienza's biggest claim to fame is that it produces the best pecorino cheese in all of Italy. The town's "sotto cenere," or "under ashes," variety, made between October and July and seasoned for up to two months to develop its rich flavor, is arguably the best of the pecorinos.
Pienza has many wonderful little shops like this one, offering not only the world-famous pecorino cheeses but also rich meats, mild olive oils and bold red wines. For an unforgettable lunch experience, grab some freshly-prepared meat, cheese, still-warm bread and a bottle of wine and head to one of the town's many scenic viewpoints overlooking the Val d'Orcia valley below. Guaranteed to be a lunch you'll think back on fondly long after you leave Italy!